26/06/2018 – Jamaica Gleaner. / President of the Jamaica Cycling Federation (JCF), Joylene Griffiths, says the organisation is struggling to generate the $500,000 needed to host the National Championship set for Ocho Rios, this weekend.
The National Time Trial is set to take place on Saturday from Bournemouth Bath to the Norman Manley Highway round-a-bout and back. The National Championship on Sunday will run from Ocho Rios to Falmouth, for the elite riders. The masters course will be from Ocho Rios to Duncans, while the juniors will start in Ocho Rios and end at Discovery Bay. Both events (time trial and championship) start at 8 a.m.
But apart from Restaurants of Jamaica (Kentucky Fried Chicken), support for the championships has not been forthcoming. And although Griffiths is not disappointed, she is hopeful support will come through in time for this weekend.
“We need funds – the usual support. Restaurants of Jamaica has come forward to assist us, but that is like a quarter (of the total sum) and it is not a lot of money,” she pointed out.
“You can’t have these events and not have an ambulance to ensure the welfare of the people that are participating. So I am just spending my time writing letters and calling in an effort to get the support.
“But you have to have a history of achievement (to get sponsorship) and we are in the process of rebuilding so it will be a challenge for while,” he said.
“We need just about $500,000 to pay for an ambulance, buy trophies, refreshments and give stipends to marshals. It (sponsorship) has been very slow. But we are hoping that at least one other (sponsor) comes through. We have written to over 45 organisations and we are hopeful we will pull through,” she reasoned.
Meanwhile, with some of the top local riders off the island for international competition, Griffiths believes it an opportunity for the underdogs to steal the spotlight.
“We are looking forward to persons coming out, a few of our cyclist are overseas, like Oshane Williams, Brandon Reid and national female champion Dahlia Palmer. The more prominent riders are not here, so it leaves room for other riders to step up and we are calling out the others because this is their chance,” she said.