Burger King pledges $2m for JAMDAMMERS Grand Prix Series September 19, 2008

KINGSTON, Jamaica … September 10, 2008 – Fast food giant Burger King has this year pledged close to $2 million in sponsorship for the 2008 Burger King /Jamdammers Grand Prix Series.
This announcement was made at the launch of the Series on Wednesday, September 10, at the Half Way Tree Entertainment Complex in Kingston.
In highlighting her company’s support for the event, Marketing Manager for Burger King
Ms Diana Blake said her organization is “delighted to form such an important alliance” with the Jamdammers Running Club of Kingston, organizers of the event. She said that with the impressive performance of the Jamaican athletes at the recently concluded Olympics in Beijing, China, “we are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with Jamdammers to stage this series which we hope will help to unearth and encourage long distance running talent that will further serve to strengthen Jamaica’s performance in track and field both locally and internationally.”
In his address, Race Director, Alfred “Frano” Francis said “this year greater emphasis has been placed on ensuring that more Jamaicans have the opportunity to participate in the Series as it will be held in various locations across the island.” He said the five race series “starts appropriately on Saturday, September 13 with the Caribbean Wellness Day 5K Walk/Run which begins at 2:00 p.m. at the UDC Western Car Park, Ocean Boulevard, in downtown Kingston.” This event which is being presented under the theme “Love Your Body – Treat Your Body Right” is also sponsored by the Ministry of Health and underscores the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Mr. Francis said there is an increased prize purse of J$ 151,000 for this race along with trophies and other prizes, however, individuals in the under 19 category will not receive cash prizes but schools will receive double the prize money for that category. Participation is also encouraged from walkers in the under 19 as well as the 20 to over 50 age groups.
Other races rounding out the series include the Burger King MB 10K which starts at the Burger King restaurant in Montego Bay on Sunday, October 12; the Clarendon Crime Prevention 10K which will be held in May Pen, Clarendon on Sunday, October 26; the Holland Bamboo 5K in Bamboo, St. Elizabeth on Sunday, November 9 and the Burger King 10K which starts at Burger King’s Portmore branch on Sunday, November 16. All races begin at 3:00 p.m.
At the end of the series, points will be tallied to determine prize winners in the various categories. Runners must participate in a minimum of three races in order to qualify for the prize purse.
Guest speaker and president of the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA), Howard Aris, commended Burger King for supporting long distance racing in Jamaica. He also reiterated the call for more corporate sponsors to “participate in the effort to develop the athletic talent that is so prevalent among our young people. The success of this year’s Olympic Games in Beijing underscores the rewards that both our country and our athletes can reap with the right support and the necessary resources,” Mr. Aris added. The Grand Prix Series was also endorsed by the Heart Foundation of Jamaica and the Ministry of Health.
The launch of the Grand Prix Series also known as the “Road to Reggae Marathon Series” marks the start of the road racing season, which gives athletes the opportunity to prepare for the Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K events in Negril on December 06, 2008.