All Set for the 17th Staging of the Covenant PediaSure Over Distance Development Meet

April 8, 2016 9:42 am

The 17th staging of the Covenant Pediasure Over Distance Development Meet will kick off on Saturday, April 9 at the UWI Mona Bowl. Defending champions Mona Prep face a stiff challenge from a field of over 20 schools, setting the stage for what meet organizer Grace Jackson believes will be an exceptionally competitive event.

Since its inception in 2000, the Covenant-PediaSure Over-Distance Development Track Meet has grown to become the premier athletic development event for prep and primary schools. The event focuses on sportsmanship and fair play while encouraging young athletes to “go over the distance” by raising the metre bar on standard track and field distances. Principal of Covenant Christian Academy,
Dr. Evangeline Smith explained, “A unique feature of the meet therefore, is that children run longer
distances than what is traditionally done in other meets. So, you will see, for example, a five hundred metre race instead of a four hundred.” Included also in this year’s meet will be a special relay emphasis.

The annual meet is organized by Covenant Christian Academy and Children’s Centre (CCACC) and supported by title sponsor for the event, Abbott Nutrition International (makers of PediaSure and Ensure) through its distributor Cari-Med Limited. This year, Cari-Med has provided a total sponsorship of $600,000 in cash and kind to help organizers offset the cost of renting the facilities, securing required permits, and providing shirts for the officials and volunteers.

Each year the Meet comes on the heels of the annual ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys & Girls Championships, a coincidence which organizers say provides added motivation to the young athletes who see themselves one day competing on that stage. In fact, senior brand manager of Cari-Med Limited, Allison Dexter, describes the meet as a ‘feeding ground’ for the major athletics championships.

Activities will kick off at 8:00 a.m. with the 150m, 300m, 400m and 500m competitions, followed by long jump and relay events in the afternoon. The winning school and coach, and the second placed school and coach will be awarded cash prizes totalling $100,000 donated by GK General Insurance. Last year, the cash award for the winning school and coach went to Mona Preparatory and the cash award for the second placed school and coach went to Knox Junior High.

This year’s ‘off field activities will include an improved Kiddies Village featuring the fun Pediasure photo booth, face painting, and fun with the Pediasure mascot, hourly giveaways, and special smoothie making demonstrations for kids. Parents of picky eaters will be able to consult with the dietician/nutritionist on healthy lunchbox alternatives. Families with younger children and tots will appreciate the addition of the Lullabye Cutie Pie Kiddies chilling station.