National athletes Julian Forte and Candice McLeod say their current partnership with Kingston Jerk as a nutrition sponsor has filled a major gap regarding their nutritional demands, and both are now encouraging more athletes to look for sponsorship arrangements that satisfy specific needs.
With input from the athletes’ nutritionists, Kingston Jerk provides three full meals, six days a week, for the athletes, whether the request is on their menu or not.
McLeod, a 4x400 metres bronze medallist at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, no longer has the stress of going home after a hard day of training to prepare a meal, which may not contain the essential nutritional value she requires.
“The partnership with Kingston Jerk has been quite helpful. After a hard session or day, I don’t have the worry of going home to prepare meals. It’s really just one call or text and it’s covered. So it is extremely helpful,” she said.
She admitted that she could do with a larger variety of ground provisions but she is more than satisfied with what’s available.
“I am really a ground provision type of athlete, so I would have preferred if they had more of that variety but there is much more I can choose from to have a well-balanced diet,” she said.
Forte admires the flexibility of the restaurant in providing beneficial meals for them. He works closely with his nutritionist in letting them know what he needs on a weekly basis.
“They deliver for me and they are very flexible in terms of what I need for my diet. Many hear Kingston Jerk and immediately think of jerk chicken and pork but they have a few options I didn’t know about and they take special orders to facilitate what I need in my diet,” he said.
McLeod is now urging more athletes to look for beneficial packages with sponsors, other than monetary agreements.
“They (athletes) believe that the support has to be monetary but it really depends on the type of brand and what they have to offer,” McLeod said.
Forte said other entities can reach out to more athletes with proposals like this.
“It is a welcome opportunity for me because you don’t really have many brands doing things like this in terms of trying to help athletes with their nutrition,” Forte said while calling on other similar establishments to help athletes with their nutritional needs.
Duane McIntosh, marketing executive at Kingston Jerk, said, as a small business, they want to support Jamaica’s track and field, while showing that small businesses can be good sponsors as well.
He called on other small businesses to look at creative ways of partnering with local personalities.
“We want to give back to local track and field and start a trend. We want to show that small businesses can do that. It is for others to take up the mantle and do something as well.
“It doesn’t just have to be big sponsors. Small businesses have a role to play in the nation’s development and we chose to start with sports,” he said.