Team Jamaica Bickle disappointed but understands cancellation of 2021 Penn Relays

By March 04, 2021

Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB) said it is disappointed but understands the reasons for the cancellation of the 2021 Penn Relays that were set to run off from April 22-24, 2021.

However, there might be a way for Jamaican athletes to be involved in alternative meets planned.

The University of Pennsylvania Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics announced today that the meet that featured the best Jamaican high school and college athletes competing against their American counterparts since the 1960s, would be cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic and restrictions on gatherings.

However, the university is hopeful of hosting a local collegiate-only meet on April 24, if conditions improve.

"It is disappointing that we once again have to cancel one of the landmark events of the spring in Philadelphia and in track and field, but collectively we want to ensure the safety of our athletes, campus, community, and spectators," said Dr M. Grace Calhoun, Director of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Pennsylvania.

"Our goal on campus has been to safely move through the Ivy athletic activity phases to host the competition and we remain hopeful that we will be able to provide some competitive opportunities for as many athletes as possible who have missed out on so much this past year."

Irwin Claire of TJB, the organization that provides nutritional and other support for Jamaican athletes while they are competing at the relays said he was not surprised by the news.

“We have been in constant dialogue with the Penn Relays organizers and have been kept apprised of the developments. Needless to say, we are disappointed but we recognize and understand the circumstances,” said Claire, who shed some light on some of those competitive opportunities that Dr Colhoun mentioned.

“In essence, there will be Penn relays but it will be confined to institutions within a 40-mile radius of the university.

“It will be broken into three extravaganzas, one for colleges in April. The second will be May 22, which they will have for professionals preparing for US trials and a meet for unattached high school athletes in June or July.”

Clare said efforts will be made to see how Jamaica’s participation in the virtual sense could be included on a streaming platform, adding that in prior dialogue with the organizers, TJB indicated that if Jamaican participation could be included somehow, that would be welcome, suggesting that if races were being held in Jamaica at that time, they could be streamed as part of the Penn Relays programming.

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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