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Apr 23, 2018

Ecumenical boys off and running to Penn Relays

As of news time, a team of seven young men from Stann Creek Ecumenical College in Dangriga Town are on their way to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to participate in the world-famous Penn Relays later this week. The Penn Relay Carnival, as it is also known, is the oldest and largest track and field competition in the U.S. and was established by the University of Pennsylvania, also known as Penn, in 1895. The team of Kendale Nunez, Quincy Coleman, Nigel Rodriguez, Myreque Francis, Michael Palacio, Denille Flores, and Javier Millian will be taking part in the four by one hundred and four by four hundred relay races for their class. We met the team at the Philip Goldson International Airport, Garifuna drums in tow, and spoke to them and Principal Doctor Jeremy Cayetano.

 

Dr. Jeremy Cayetano, Principal, Stann Creek Ecumenical College

Dr. Jeremy Cayetano

“Last summer, there was a Hope Run Project that was led by Kyle Castillo, and that Hope Run Project brought a man by the name of James Cordice – he’s from St. Vincent but he lives in Philadelphia. Mr. Cordice asked for a meeting with our school, because our students participated and he wanted to meet with our admin. And he expressed interest in having students from Dangriga attend the Penn Relays. He explained to us that the Penn Relays is where athletes from all over the world assemble there and they run; a lot of them who end up in the Olympics have passed through the Penn Relays. While the students are away as well we will have meetings with universities, where the students will hear how you apply for [and] qualify for sporting scholarships, etcetera. So it’s not just going to the Penn Relays; we will be linking with universities and other individuals who might be able to support our school’s sporting program or the students themselves individually.”

 

Nigel Rodriguez

Nigel Rodriguez, Penn Relays Participant

“We are looking forward to just compete, do our best, make our country proud as we run. We know that we can come in the top because we have been training tirelessly, and we just want to make everyone proud of us when we return.”

 

Quincy Coleman, Penn Relays Participant

Quincy Coleman

“We want that when everyone hears Belize, especially for us as a whole, it is an overwhelming experience, and getting this exposure can lead to further doors opening for other students that have other talents likewise. Our main goal is to bring recognition and in the long run to put Belize on the map.”

 

The event is open to both high school and university track teams from the U.S. and the region, and such talents as retired Jamaican Olympic and world record-holder Usain Bolt have participated. The school raised twenty thousand dollars in local support and will be sponsored by Cordice while in Philadelphia. The Relays begin on Thursday and end on Saturday and will be carried on NBC Sports Network and online.

 

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