It gives me great pleasure to welcome you here today to the 41st renewal Gibson McCook Relays 2017. We are pleased with what has been achieved over these four decades and are committed to continue to improve on this product..
The Organizing Committee is extremely grateful to our sponsors who have remained loyal to us despite protracted difficult economic conditions. This is year the Organizing Committee has seen an uptick in the sponsorship interest. This is an extremely welcome situation but is not without a negative side as our 1-day programme can only accommodate a limited number of events. We regret that some of our sponsors were not able secure all the events needed to enhance their brands. We take this opportunity to urge sponsors to indicate their commitment as soon as possible after our invitations are issued in October each year so that plans and arrangements can be made early and avoid last minute disappointments.
The continued support of our presenting sponsor, PUMA, has been essential to our viability and sustainability, enhanced by their willingness to enter into multi-year sponsorship contracts which allows the Organizing Committee to be more secure and confident in its planning. We are pleased that our communications sponsor Digicel as well as our host broadcaster have also entered into a multi-year sponsorship contract with us. This stability allows us to plan with confidence over the short to medium term. Our association with Digicel, their partnership with SportsMax and both working with CVM enhanced our broadcast product last year and we are optimistic that benefiting from last years’ experience the broadcast will be further enhanced this year. The consistent support of CVM over the last several years has been one of the pillars that we have been able to rely on as we plan each year’.
We thank them for their loyalty and long may this mutually beneficial relationship continue.
Aligning the GMR with modern business practices
The world continues to change around us and it is critical that we align ourselves with modern practices. Among the issues facing Organizations like ours is the need to demonstrate probity and transparency in their activities as well as to compete for space and attention in the market place. Over the last three years the Gibson McCook Relays has sought to bring itself in line what is required of us. Some of the actions taken to meet these standards include:
1. The registration of the organization as a limited liability company
2. Subjecting our financial activities to external audit
3. The commissioning of a new Logo and
4. The creation of our website with its URL: gibsonmccookrelays.com
We invite you to visit our website and let us have the benefit of your comments.
Overseas Participation & Reaching out to the Caribbean
Despite the constraints of our one-day programme we believe that there is room to enhance the offerings of the Gibson McCook Relays. We are constantly reminded of the excitement that was generated in former years by the participation of teams from the USA. Regrettably, significant participation by US collegiate and high school teams is restricted at the time of year when the GMR is held. We do have interest from track clubs in the USA and are optimistic that at least one of these clubs will join us in the Clubs & Institutions category. At the same time our Caribbean ompatriots continue to improve their performances on the world stage and we believe that teams from the rest of the Caribbean can enhance the GMR. Consequently, we have invited participation from all the NACAC member federations. Not surprisingly, it is taking sometime for our invitation to filter down to schools, clubs and institutions and we will see only minimal participation this year but we believe that this is a growth area for us and we intend to pursue it diligently.
Our returns were significantly reduced last year by the inclement weather and the general elections. Nevertheless, we were able to meet our commitments to all the organizations and institutions that have come to expect donations from us and for that we are eternally grateful to our sponsors and the patrons who support the Meet.
The Howard Aris Memorial Lecture
The annual Gibson Relays has three main events including the Launch and Sponsors’ Draw for events, the Howard Aris Memorial Lecture (HAML) and the Relays. The HAML had to be cancelled last year due the same factors that affected our returns. This year we resume as our HAML series and our lecturer is one of our outstanding sports medicine practitioners and former Olympian Dr. Neil Gardner. The lecture will be held at the University of Technology (UTECH) Auditorium at 6pm on Wednesday 22nd instant.
The History of the Gibson Relays
We are very pleased to announce today that the book chronicling the history of the Gibson Relays 1973-2014 is at the printers and we are promised a limited number of advanced copies in time for the 2017 Relays. The launch is imminent and we look forward to your generous support.
In closing let me once again thank our sponsors and patrons for their consistent support. Thanks also to all other persons and institutions who have contributed to the success of this event. This year we have been forced to increase the price of our tickets to enter the venue but feel that this justify ed and reasonable. We crave your understanding and continued support.