Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the Grenada Invitational, Dexter Mitchell, has promised a higher level of competitiveness among athletes participating in the second edition of the premiere track meet tomorrow (Saturday) at the national stadium at Queen’s Park.
“I can promise from where I sit, that the Grenada Invitational, in terms of events, will be much more competitive than last year,” Mitchell said last week Friday at a ceremony held at the George F. Huggins & Co. Ltd., office at the GCNA Complex, Kirani James Boulevard.
The track meet organiser symbolically accepted a combined contribution of $20, 000, from the Pharmaceuticals Division of George F. Huggins & Co. Ltd., and AmeriJet International.
According to Mitchell, the Grenada Invitational will welcome for the very first time this weekend U.S-based Bralon Taplin, who is of Grenadian heritage and has been representing Grenada since 2012, but has never visited the island.
“We are very excited to have Bralon come in to participate in the Grenada Invitational…he has been a world class citizen in representing Grenada (and) he came fifth in the 400m in the Commonwealth games recently (and) we look forward to welcoming him here”, he said.
“It (would be) a huge family reunion for Bralon and an opportunity (for him) to experience the hospitality of Grenadians and for Grenadians to say thank you for all he has done”, he added.
The line up at the stadium includes the likes of Americans Justin Gatlin, LaShawn Merrit and Tori Bowie but Mitchell said, “we also have very competitive young and upcoming athletes, who will be competing (in the) world championships in 2019 and the Olympics in Tokyo, 2020…”.
In addition, he said some of the top female triple jumpers in the world are coming to Grenada for the games and “we have made an effort to get some of the best competitive athletes coming for the Grenada invitational”.
“There is (also) some buzz around Justin Gatlin and what he wants to do in Grenada and I am hopeful, keeping my fingers crossed, that we will experience for the first time in Grenada, a sub 10 second 100m. That would be very exciting news for us”, he remarked.
Through its sponsorship, Huggins, with its Lucozade brand, will help keep the athletes energised with its ‘Lucozade Sport’ energy drink throughout the event.
According to Pharmaceuticals Brand Manager at Huggins, George “Porgie” Cherebin, the company hopes to continue as a sponsor of the event.
“We are on board for the first time…and we trust that this won’t be our last involvement in the event. Both the company and the brand are very much associated with playing this particular role of sponsorship but we feel extremely special to be associated with this special event and we need not say why, because the first edition of the Grenada Invitational spoke for itself,” he said.
“Our sponsorship would ensure that each of the athletes, international and local, experience our ‘Lucozade Sport’ product, which is specially geared towards athletes. Our sponsorship would also ensure that the hard working officials in the games are rehydrated with Lucozade products,” he added.
Huggins is also the agent for Amerijet International, a cargo airline, which is sponsoring the Grenada Invitational for a second year and playing a critical role in bringing in equipment for ESPN, the US-based global and satellite sports television channel, owned by ESPN Inc.
Sales and Marketing Representative, AmeriJet International, Ethlyn Alexander said: “We feel honoured to be a part of this world premium sporting event,” acknowledging that it “helps to showcase our countries potential in the sporting industry.”
Among the special guests expected for this year’s event is the President of the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC), Athletics Association (AA), Victor Lopez, who the Grenada Invitational LOC Chairman said is interested in determining “what are we doing so right in Grenada that can be used as a template for a Caribbean circuit and at the Diamond League, that the International Association of Athletes Federations (IAAF) and international organisations run in Europe.”
“Not only do we (Grenada) have world class athletes and we saw it last year with the exploits of Kurt Felix and Lindon Victor recently in Australia, but we do have the capability to host world-class events and that was manifested on April 8, 2017, with the hosting of the first Grenada Invitational,” Mitchell said.