Boys excited as Penwood make first trip to Penns – Jamaica Gleaner

Penwood High will be among several local high school teams making their first appearance at the Penn Relays when the 127th staging of the biggest relay carnival in the world takes place inside the Franklin Field Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 27-29.
Despite not getting the chance to compete at the recent ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships (Champs), Penwood of Olympic Way in Kingston will run at the prestigious relay carnival, and yesterday The Gleaner caught up with the team before their departure to Philadelphia.
“We are taking six athletes to compete at the Penn Relays and they will contest the boys’ 4×100 metres and 4×400 metres,” said Andre Burke, the head coach of the team.
Burke said the school missed Champs because emails from the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) were not seen by either himself or the principal as both were new to the school. He said their entries were sent in but were too late. The coach started teaching at Penwood last September.
“Although we did not compete at Champs, the guys were able to compete at the various weekend development meets and this was good experience for them, and competing on the international stage will be good exposure and they are very excited,” added Burke, who stated that the boys will all be travelling overseas for the first time.
“There is a stigma surrounding the school in the area for bad behaviour of the students and we are using sports as a tool to help repair this,” said the coach, who stated that the parents, school community and principal have all come together to support the team.
The Penwood team will be in action for the first time on Thursday when they contest the preliminary round of the 4x400m relay at 10:40 a.m.
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