PHILADELPHIA – From the administrative team to the drivers, to the tent crew, it’s all systems go for Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB) at the upcoming Penn Relays.
Months of planning and numerous events have finally culminated in the three days for which they were intended.
The Penn Relays will kick off at April 28-30, at Franklin Field, University of Pennsylvania and the team is ready to fulfill its mandate of hosting athletes from across the Caribbean. Team Jamaica; Team Trinidad and Tobago; Team St. Vincent & The Grenadines and Team Guyana (for the first time at Penn), will all be happy beneficiaries of the organization’s hospitality program.
The athletes will receive hot meals, transportation, chaperone & logistic services at the team hotel and chiropractic care through TJB’s partnership with Omega Health & Fitness led by Dr. Thien Dang Tan and team from Canada.
This year Team Jamaica Bickle has also partnered with Philadelphia International Medicine (PIM) to provide medical and chiropractic care. A team of Orthopedic Surgeons will be on call to assist the athletes if needed.
At the heart of the operations is a crew of approximately forty (40) volunteers, some of whom have already started logging hours as the athletes begin to fly in. This includes ensuring that meals are provided through to the official start, Thursday, April 28.
Coordinating things on the ground in Philadelphia is the Philadelphia chapter of TJB headed by Co-chairs, Michele Bartley and Brian Gordon. “It can be tiring as most of us also work full time,” says Michele. “At the same time we are filled with excitement as these young athletes from our home country strive to do their best for school and country.”
The huge, commercial-grade kitchen from which three hot meals are churned out everyday is installed and operated by Caribbean Food Delights, founding partners with Team Jamaica Bickle. The dynamic father/daughter duo of Vincent and Sabrina HoSang leads on this. This year the team reached out to the schools to seek input in planning the menu.
“The Penn Relays is a family tradition for me. It’s not just for the nutrition and feeding initiative involvement, but the glow and excitement it brings as the athletes showcase their talents and abilities and doing their best in honor of their high schools and country,” said Sabrina.
“We approach each year like it’s the first with apprehension and excitement,” said head honcho, Irwine Clare, Snr. “We thank our sponsors, Caribbean Foods Delight, Grace, Tower Isles Patties, Union of Alumni Association, (UJAA), Philadelphia International Medicine (PIM), Drummond & Squillace, Young Caribbean Network, Irie Jam Radio and Omega Health & Fitness for their continued support.”
Teams started arriving at the team hotel on Monday (April 25) and will continue to arrive through Wednesday for the start of Penn Relays competition on Thursday.