Guardsman Games goes for future growth
Now in its third year, Sunday's Guardsman Games saw hundreds of patrons making the trek to Hope Zoo in St Andrew for an afternoon of spine-tingling action. As temperatures soared into the high 90s, bottled water, cold beverages and even old-time snow cones kept patrons and competitors hydrated. And for others, the offerings at the food court were the perfect stand-in for the traditional Sunday dinner.
Competitors clad in body-hugging tights and comfortable tops representing their teams showed off their dexterity and skill honed during months of training as their super fit bodies manoeuvred challenge after challenge in the Ministry of Health endorsed event.
They did not disappoint the crowd of spectators, comprising parents, children and scores of millennials who came to cheer on their teams. It was definitely the ideal family Sunday-afternoon outing and organisers even included a large play area for children, complete with giant bounceabout.
Guardsman Group Chairman Kenny Benjamin told The Gleaner that he has been pleased with the turnout and the steady growth of the games over the three years. But, he is anticipating its further growth.
"I want to take the games to international levels with participants coming in from the USA and Canada to take part. Challenge competitions such as this are growing in popularity all over the world now, and I want to see us all competing under one Jamaican flag, as well as see Jamaica competing internationally," Benjamin said.
He expressed satisfaction with the fact that participants had arrived from as early as 6 a.m. that morning for the six-kilometre multi-obstacle race. Following on the successful rebranding and refurbishing of the Puerto Seco Beach in St Ann, Benjamin said the group's next focus would be on doing similar initiatives in the hospitality industry.
The first-, second- and third-place winners of this year's games will be heading off to participate in the Obstacle Course Racing World Championship in Florida in October. The proceeds of the games will finance the work of Guardsman Foundation's three major charities, its chairman, Sheila Benjamin-McNeill, told The Gleaner.