Growing Into 25 & Beyond!
Twenty-Five (25) years ago Team Jamaica Bickle emerged on the scene, to coordinate and deliver vital amenities to our athletes at the annual Penn Relays. Our objective was to rally around and support our athletes, our ambassadors on the track. It had become apparent that our student athletes had unmet needs. We incorporated the community to be there like all families should be; to provide warm meals, comfortable accommodations, reliable and safe transportation and medical care in an organized and sustained manner.
Team Jamaica Bickle Inc., was born in 1994, and steadily expanded its service and organization, attaining the IRS status of a 501 (c) (3) soon after. Sponsor, Vincent HoSang with his Royal Caribbean/Caribbean Food Delights Brand came onboard immediately and later incorporated the Vincent HoSang Family Foundation and has been with us ever since as partner playing a key role in the feeding of our athletes.
We are proud to share this 25th Year of unbroken service with you. It seems like just yesterday we started with some doubt but with the enthusiasm of newness and energy to match our athletes. Now with the wisdom of experience, we pause to reflect on the many turns and new milestones that brought us here.
It’s been some journey, one of remarkable achievements and the building of unbreakable bonds, friendships and partnerships. We have seen our efforts grow exponentially from 200 athletes and one country to at its peak over 600 athletes and approximately Five (5) Caribbean countries. We have hosted countless others including athletes from The Bahamas, Belize and Barbados, Team Jamaica Bickle Alumni based in Colleges and Universities across the USA; Sponsors, Official Guests and other Athletic Officials. We have watched our athletes develop, mature over the years and excel beyond their wildest dreams.
We are the only organization of its kind to provide Hospitality services to Caribbean Athletes; a move inspired by the late Ben Francis, former Principal of Vere Technical High School. In 1999, we became the first Jamaican organization to be a participating sponsor at the Penn Relays. As a result, the Jamaican flag became the first foreign-nation’s flag to be flown at the Penn Relays, a distinction unmatched. We have the distinction of having facilitated the attendance of Jamaica’s Prime Minister, The Honorable Portia Simpson-Miller to the Penn Relays in 2012-the first foreign leader to do so.
We brought Jamaican brands to the Penn Relays and as the event audience numbers grew to include more Jamaicans so did the brands involvement and participation in the relays.
Our first Jamaican Sponsor, Capital & Credit Merchant Bank with Ryland Campbell believed in our mission and readily came on board. Other Corporate partners soon joined. Among them are: Western Union, Grace Kennedy Remittance Services, Grace Foods, Tower Isle Patties, Jamaica National, Jamaica Tourist Board, Air JA/CAL, LIME, Lomax Family Foundation, RIA Money Express, VMBS, NY Daily News, Transcontinental Shipping, Dennis Shipping, UJAA, among others. Some have further deepened and expanded their relationship with the Penn Relays. In fact Grace Foods has risen to the honored position of Title Sponsor.
We salute our team of volunteers for their commitment and tireless work over the past 24 years. You’ve made us successful. The entire community and athletes are indebted to you.
So, as we step into 2019 and our 25th Year let me say thank you and Happy New Year to all who have supported our vision through the years. We invite you to join us as we launch into another 25 and beyond.