Exciting Wesley Powell meet expected
David Riley, member of the organising committee of this year's 16th staging of the Wesley Powell/Heart Institute of the Caribbean track and field meet, said they are expecting an exciting championships this year.
The event, which is being sponsored by Heart Institute of the Caribbean for the fifth consecutive year, will be held on the grounds of Excelsior High School on December 8.
The meet will have 40 track and 36 field events for both males and females, who will compete in classes one to four and open for high schools, with several clubs, colleges, and institutions also expected to feature.
Riley, who is also the head coach of Excelsior High School's track and field team, said they would be doing everything necessary to ensure that this year's meet is very successful.
"The meet is a very important part of the calendar, especially for the coaches, who plan their programmes properly, and it is a very good time trial to see where their athletes are after an extended preparation phase," said Riley.
"I think when you put them into competition, you get the mental side as well and so the expectations are that the quality will be there and people will be competitive in trying to get personal bests at these over distance events," he said.
Riley added that they are delighted with the support they have received from corporate Jamaica for the event.
"The support is tremendous because if you look at the quality of the sponsors we have, our title sponsors is the Heart Institute of the Caribbean and so we have very strong Jamaican brands that are associated with the meet," Riley said. "This speaks to the quality of the organisation and the general operation because it is one of the best run meets in Jamaica,"
Lisa D'Oyen, executive director of the Heart Institute of Caribbean, said her association was very pleased to be associated with the meet.
"We have been a sponsor for the past five years and it has been a great relationship and we have grown from strength to strength over the years," said D'Oyen.
"What we want to promote is really the young athletes to be heart healthy and to be aware and to be proactive about their health and so as a part of our sponsorship of this event, we do offer basic cardiac screening to the athletes, so they can come in and get their heart checked to ensure that they are safe and healthy for competition," she said.
Meanwhile, the organisers of the meet will be hosting a workshop on December 7 for athletes and coaches on the topic 'Reconsider That Energy Drink'.
The presenter will be Dr Ahmed Soliman Hegazy, an intervention cardiologist with more than 10 years' experience.