Jamaica Bickle stands ready to host athletes - ... as Penn Relays set to resume next year

October 27, 2020
Edwin Allen’s 4x100m relay team (from left) of Serena Cole (left), Kevona Davis (second left), Tina Clayton (second right) and Tia Clayton, receive their award for their victory in a record time of 43.62 seconds at the Penn Relays at the Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 26, 2019.
Edwin Allen’s 4x100m relay team (from left) of Serena Cole (left), Kevona Davis (second left), Tina Clayton (second right) and Tia Clayton, receive their award for their victory in a record time of 43.62 seconds at the Penn Relays at the Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 26, 2019.

With the 2021 track and field calendar still uncertain because of the coronavirus pandemic, Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB) chairman Irwine Clare says that they are prepared to host and accommodate local athletes should the Penn Relays take place next year.

This year's edition was cancelled because of the pandemic. Combined with the cancellation of the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletic Championships in March, it brought the 2020 local junior track season to an abrupt end.

TJB has been providing hospitality services to local and Caribbean athletes at the Penn Relays for more than two decades.

Clarke said that he has been in discussions with the vice president of marketing for the Penn Relays and they are targeting to have the event in 2021 but under a different framework.

Moving target

"They are hoping that Penn Relays will take place in some form. That again is a moving target," Clare said. "Penn Relays is a little bit more unique than that because one of the things it has to be cognizant of is that Penn Relays attracts the largest gatherings of athletes for any event."

Clare said that the committee is determining what format the event would take in 2021 whether to limit fans in attendance or the number of athletes that participate.

"They haven't worked out that piece yet. But they are planning for some form of Penn Relays whether it will be a one day or two-day event. They are not certain yet but all options from what I was told are on the table," he said. "It may take a form where we could be a great deal less of attendees and the same thing I would imagine too of athletes."

Although the specific plans are still to be determined, Clare said TJB will stand ready to assist the high school athletes should approval be given.

The 2021 Penn Relays are scheduled to be held at Franklin Field in Pennsylvania next April year.

- D.W.

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