Sandals Resorts International has announced its sponsorship of the 2022 Jamaica Bobsleigh Team — as six fierce competitors gear up to compete this month on the world’s most coveted stage for sports.
Among the highlights is a four-man team comeback 24 years in the making, with Sandals, too, sponsoring 1998’s qualifying team.
Sandals Resorts Executive Chairman Adam Stewart observed: “Sandals has always been a champion for our national athletes as we continue our legacy to support young competitors who aspire to represent our beloved home country locally and on the world stage.”
And he continued: “We beam with pride seeing our beautiful flag waving high, showing the world that Jamaica is not only a nation of dreamers, but doers – and that truly anything is possible when heart and hard work come together. The story of Jamaican bobsleighing is simply incredible and we are along for the long ride, cheering on this extraordinary team as they compete in this winter’s events and then pass down the torch for generations to come.”
Sandals Resorts is a long supporter of athletes in training in Jamaica and across the Caribbean through the work of the Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts.
Sandals’ support of the 2022 Jamaica Bobsleigh Team will cover the substantial logistics and travel costs required to send qualifying athletes to Beijing, as well as the additional bobsleigh events leading up to the 2023 world championship event. The team consists of pilot Shanwayne Stephens, push athletes Matthew Wepke and Rolando Reid, and brakemen Ashley Watson and Nimroy Turgott. Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian is also representing Team Jamaica this year in a new women’s monobob event.
The team is led by team manager Nelson Christian “Chris” Stokes, who has been an active member of the Jamaica Bobsleigh Team since its inception in 1988, and was part of the Olympic team who inspired the ever-popular 1993 film Cool Runnings.
For Stokes, who also serves as President and Chairman of the Jamaica Bobsleigh Federation, Sandals’ sponsorship is a full-circle moment, having started out as a Sandals Resorts team member at Sandals Montego Bay in the mid 1980s.
Stokes said that: “Our return to the world stage is an incredible win in itself and now Sandals Resorts has carried us over the finish line, allowing our team to put their focus on what they do best: bringing the Caribbean heat.”
And he added: “We are also laying the groundwork for the future, as opportunities such as this one come with the responsibility of helping to ‘pilot’ a new generation of bobsleighers, and Sandals is the perfect partner for this on and off the track.”
Upon their return to Jamaica, Stokes and the athletes will join forces with the Sandals Foundation to plan a number of long-term initiatives geared towards grooming the next generation of athletes.
These will include visits to local schools to host motivational speaking engagements, organizing athletic training clinics, nutrition workshops with resort chefs, and more. Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts guests can also look forward to special meet and greets with Bobsleigh team members.
Said Stokes: “There is a beautiful alignment between what Jamaican bobsledding has done and what Sandals has done in Jamaica for 40 years, and we will remain closely aligned as we work together towards a bright future for young athletes.”
PHOTO CREDIT — International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation