The Penn Relays is an important event on the Track and Field Calendar for Diasporans. It can be likened to a “pilgrimage” (of sorts for many Jamaicans and Caribbean folks fare and wide. Calendars are marked, event tickets, and flights booked way in advance. It is the ultimate meetup of long lost friends and alumni compatriots with thousands flocking to Philadelphia each year.
The Penn Relays is the longest uninterrupted collegiate track meet athletic event in the USA and is the largest meet (outside of the Olympics) that attracts over 22,000 athletes primarily from the northeast United States and the Caribbean, namely Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Bahamas and Grenada,
it is said that In its 125 year-history, the Relays have hosted, more athletes than any other meet in the world. and more spectators have watched the meet than any in the world except the Olympics and World Championships.
Jamaica has competed at the Penn Relays for over 50 years, and during that time our athletes have made significant contribution to the success of the Relays,
The continued dominance of the Jamaican athletes has brought the fans in record breaking numbers for the past several years. According to ESPN/ABC Sports, of the 90,000 to 150,000 persons who attend the three day event, over 43% are Jamaicans, others estimate that number to be closer to 75%.
The Relays present an opportunity to re-unite with friends and families. It provides for friendly competition among schools and is especially a grand display of national pride.