This year’s Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Championships is set to be so big – followed and watched outside Jamaica – that ISSA president, Dr Walton Small, is calling for a bigger hosting facility for the annual showpiece.
Champs will take place at the National Stadium from March 24-28, and will mark its 105th occasion, with audiences across the Caribbean, North America, and other parts of the world set to tune in to the “world’s biggest track and field high-schools event”.
“We need a new stadium. We need a modern stadium so that we can accommodate all these people. I think the investment we are putting in to the championship will make more people come,” ISSA President Walton Small told STAR Sports in an interview after yesterday’s launch of the championships.
“Right now, we (ISSA) have to be turning away the foreign media because we do not have enough space in our stadium to accommodate them,” he added. He said this year’s championships received substantial financial boosts.
“All the money from our sponsors is invested in the execution of this product, because we believe that the quality of the championships cannot be in any way diluted. Therefore, we invest millions of dollars to keep it that way. We believe that, if we continue to invest, eventually, media houses like ESPN and Fox Sport will come,” Small said.
Champs 2015 is endorsed to the tune of J$68.5 million by GraceKennedy, who put in $38.5 million towards the event, and $30.5 million to its marketing.
This is a whopping increase by the food and beverage organisation, which invested $36,750,000 into last year’s staging.
The event will have a strong online and social media presence via www.issasports.com Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Tickets will be avaliable as of Saturday, March 21 at the National Stadium, Titchfield High School, Port Antonio, Cornwall College, Montego Bay, St Elizabeth Technical High School in Santa Cruz, and Manchester High in Mandeville.
Entry will be free on day one, while on Wednesday, children will pay $100 and adults $500. Regular attendance for Grandstand on Friday is $2,500, while Bleachers is $500 and students $200.
The cost of the Grandstand on Saturday is $3,500, and Bleachers $1,000, while season tickets are $7,500 and $6,500 for categories one and two, respectively.