THREE-WEEK CAMP The auction pot was also sweetened with the opportunity to participate in a three-week Racers Summer camp slated for July 4-22 for athletes aged seven to 19 for $111,000. The camp package also includes accommodation and meals. Other items auctioned included a three-night stay at the Half Moon hotel for a minimum $75,000 bid, while vacationing at Secrets Resort and Spa went for the same price. Racers received a financial boost from Sunday’s auction to the tune of over $800,000, funds raised after admitting their club failed to acquire funds from the Government-run Sports Development Foundation (SDF). That, however, led them to try raising funds from the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica. Meanwhile, Racers boss Glen Mills lauded a JN video presentation dubbed Racers Track Club: The Vision, aired at Sunday’s reception. “This video highlights the aims and direction of our organisation, and we want our benefactors to appreciate how we see ourselves and the future of track and field in Jamaica,” Mills underlined. Racers Track Club showcased their universal sprinting excellence via an innovative and first-of-its-kind Mini-Museum and Silent Auction of running spikes, Puma T-shirts and track suits autographed by their leading stars during the colourful Jamaica National-organised event on Sunday night. Over 25 Olympic and World Championship medals were displayed. University of the West Indies-based Racers Track Club displayed authentic athletic memorabilia and autographed apparel and batons from the club’s local, regional and international track and field exploits at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston. Jamaica National’s general manager, Earl Jarrett, lauded Glen Mills’ Racers camp for contributing to Jamaica’s image as the ‘sprint capital of the world’. “Our sponsorship of the Grand Prix and hosting of the reception on May 1 is part of our continuing focus to support young athletes and to honour their achievements as we anticipate that they will be among future Jamaican athletes who will maintain the trailblazing standard set by others, some of whom will retire after the 2016 Olympics in Brazil,” Jarrett outlined. Sunday’s reception helped to raise funds and to promote the Racers Grand Prix, which is expected to host around 100 top athletes from some 10 countries, inside the National Stadium on June 11. Mega sprint star, Usain Bolt, who holds the double sprint world records and a total of six Olympic gold medals, saw two pairs of his illustrious Puma spikes fetch a whopping $130,000 and $150,000, respectively. The baton he and his Jamaica team carried while reigning supreme at last year’s IAAF World Championships went for $95,000. Warren Weir, a World and Olympic 200-metre medallist and an adidas-sponsored athlete, saw his spikes and body suit fetch minimum $60,000 and $50,000 each, while the second-fastest man of all time, Yohan Blake, also an adidas-sponsored athlete, had his spikes priced at a minimum of $50,000. Commonwealth Games 2014 gold medallist, Kemar Bailey-Cole, saw his framed photograph priced at $50,000 and his spikes for $55,000, alongside Olympian Michael Frater.
Wayne Bennett has named a 27-man group which will meet three times between June and September before he finalises his World Cup squad.“The total number of the squad has been reduced but that’s not to say that the door isn’t open,” he said. “Myself and staff are monitoring and watching players every week – we ask them to do their best for their club, improve as a player and work on the little things that will have a big difference come October.“The 13 Super League players that travelled over for the Samoa Test have been included again; I want them to share their experiences with other members of the squad. It was an extremely positive and productive camp which resulted in an impressive display.“I mentioned this straight after the Samoa game, but from the team I left after the Four Nations last year to the squad I’m seeing now, there is a lot of confidence in the group and individuals which is very pleasing ahead of the World Cup.”England Rugby League Elite Performance Squad:Greg Eden (Castleford Tigers) Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) Zak Hardaker (Castleford Tigers) Mike McMeeken (Castleford Tigers) Paul McShane (Castleford Tigers) Michael Shenton (Castleford Tigers) Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants) Scott Taylor (Hull FC) Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos) Stevie Ward (Leeds Rhinos) Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos) Jonny Lomax (St Helens) Tommy Makinson (St Helens) Mark Percival (St Helens) James Roby (St Helens) Alex Walmsley (St Helens) Kevin Brown (Warrington Wolves) Daryl Clark (Warrington Wolves) Mike Cooper (Warrington Wolves) Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves) Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves) Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves) John Bateman (Wigan Warriors) Joe Burgess (Wigan Warriors) Liam Farrell (Wigan Warriors) Sean O’Loughlin (Wigan Warriors) George Williams (Wigan Warriors)