Hello UJAA Family!

Are we ready to watch our Jamaican Students dominate at Penn Relays?

Who knew that when the Jamaican high school student-athletes first participated in the Penn Relays in 1964, this would begin Jamaica’s dominance there for decades and the foreseeable future? Today Jamaicans religiously attend “Penns” by the thousands because they know our students will not disappoint.

The 126th staging of the Penn Relays at Franklin Field, University of Pennsylvania, will be held from April 28th to 30th. Several UJAA schools will fly from Jamaica to Philadelphia to represent, compete and dominate.

The Penn Relays has become “the world’s largest relay carnival,” where hundreds of Jamaicans reunite. Thousands of high school student-athletes from schools across the United States and the Caribbean will all converge on Philadelphia to compete and show off their athletic prowess. Since 1964 approximately 25 to 35% of patrons attending the meet are of Jamaican descent, many living in the Diaspora.

Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB) was founded in 1994 to provide hospitality services to Jamaican student-athletes who attend Penn Relays. The 501(c)(3) organization provides athletes with meals, transportation, medical support, and other hospitality services. As you all know, UJAA donates annually to TJB, and the trend continues this year with a $3,000 donation. Other supporters of TJB include Resorts World, NY Life, Digicel, Richmond Estates, Sun Coast, JTB, and Tower Isles. TJB will also host its Labor of Love Fundraising Luncheon this Sunday, April 16, at the Crest Hollow Country Club, 8325 Jericho Turnpike, Woodbury, NY 11797. Tickets are $175, and the event runs from noon to 5:00 p.m.

Not to be outdone, UJAA will also be hosting its annual Penn Relays Bus Excursion on Saturday, April 29, 2023. The bus departs at 7:30 a.m. from Cambria Heights, Francis Lewis Blvd./120th Avenue (by the park), and will leave Philadelphia at 6:30 p.m. sharp for the return trip. The cost of the round trip, including tickets to the stadium, is $135 per person. So, whether or not your school has athletes competing at the Penn Relays, in keeping with the Jamaican spirit, you can support the athletes through attendance at the TJB Luncheon or riding the UJAA Bus to Philadelphia to do so in person. Of course, you can do both if you wish! Whatever your choice, you cannot afford to miss out on the opportunity to support or watch Jamaica’s student-athletes dominate at the 2023 Penn Relays.

Melanie Forrest-George
UJAA Recording Secretary

Union of Jamaican Alumni Associations (USA) Inc. (UJAA)
“Education is Empowerment; Only the Educated are Free”