August 23, 2011
COSAGO at your service

Any school here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines wishing to attend the annual Penn Relays in the United States of America, just has to play its part in getting there, as the Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, USA Inc, will be always ready and willing to help.{{more}}

Giving this assurance was Treasurer of the umbrella body of fourteen Vincentian US based organizations, O’ Brien Simmons, at a press meeting last Wednesday at the Thomas Saunders Secondary School.

Simmons said that COSAGO has added the Penn Relays to its charter, since its efforts realized the participation of the Thomas Saunders Secondary School at this year’s event.

The Thomas Saunders Secondary, thus became the first school from St. Vincent and the Grenadines to be part of the Penn Relays, which has an annual participation of over 20,000 athletes.

Simmons stated that before that, COSAGO undertook the annual Vincy Picnic on Thousand Island in Toronto, Canada and the Independence celebrations in October.

Simmons, who was COSAGO’s coordinator for the Penn Relays this year, is urging other schools here to explore the possibility of attending the world’s largest relay event, as COSAGO will be the driving force behind them.

“The idea of attending the Penn Relays is no longer an idea; it is a reality and we will support in every possible way,” Simmons, who is the Chairman of Caribbean American Renal Failure Relief Fund and President of the Brooklyn, New York, Bequia United Progressive Organization (BUPO).

Simmons said that plans are already in train for next year’s attendance, and COSAGO is waiting with opens arms to welcome more schools.

And, like the Thomas Saunders Secondary, others wishing to be part of the Penn Relays just have to take care of their airfares to Philadelphia, the venue for the Relays, which are held in April of each year, and dates back to 1895.

“What we promise to organise ourselves, we promise three things: we will make sure that any athlete coming from St. Vincent and the Grenadines and coming to the Penn Relays will not just have one suit (track), but two; you need a light suit, and you need a heavier suit; we are prepared to provide hotel accommodation and other things that come with that,” Simmons promised.

“As I speak now, there are preparations going on to help whatever school with shoes etc. We will try to work with all the schools to find out what are their needs, so we can help, so that things will not become a burden on parents here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as we know collectively we can do a whole lot to help the athletes,” Simmons added.

Principal of the Thomas Saunders Secondary John Renton lauded the efforts of COSAGO and singled out former President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Association of Pennsylvania James Cordice for his untiring support and commitment to the cause.

Renton spoke of getting to Philadelphia and being met by Cordice, with all the things already in place, which made their trip “a highly positive experience, not only for the athletes, but for the school, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Diaspora”.

The Thomas Saunders Secondary was represented by an all-male team which participated in the 4×100 m and the 4×400 m.

The team of Michael Hazel, Ronique Dowers, Najee Israel and Renaldo Charles competed in the 4x100M in heat 24 and placed first in a time of 44:45 seconds. In that event, a total of 270 teams participated.

In the 4×400 m, the quartet of Kion Robertson, Brandon Parris, Najee Israel and Kamol Bess took first place in their heat in a time of 3 minutes, 28. 75 seconds.

However, these times were not good enough to get them to the second round.

And already, the Thomas Saunders Secondary has twenty-four athletes in training for next year’s Penn Relays.

Coach of the Thomas Secondary School Godfrey Harry stated that a female team from that institution could be part of the 2012 Penn Relays.(RT)