According to Mr Wehby, “We met with ISSA President, Dr Walton Small, Vice President, Mr Keith Wellington and Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Mrs Colleen Montague this morning. We had a thorough and frank discussion regarding the alleged incident, which, if true, presents a very serious concern for GraceKennedy as title sponsors of the event, and which GraceKennedy would condemn in the strongest possible terms.

This is the single largest sponsorship for GraceKennedy anywhere in the world, to the tune of over J$100 million, and as such the implications for us are huge. We have taken the matter so seriously that we have consulted with our attorneys, who have advised that GraceKennedy does not have the power to decide which athletes participate in Champs and cannot determine what action the school or ISSA takes with regard to the alleged incident. Further, having met with ISSA this morning, we have now been made to understand that ISSA is also not in a position to make such a determination. The decision rests squarely with the Board of Calabar High School.

I always try to look for the opportunity in the crisis. This entire situation represents an opportunity for change, and is a teachable moment for all stakeholders including all School Boards and the Ministry of Education. Our understanding is that there is currently a Code of Regulations under the Education Act, which governs the conduct of students in schools, and which is currently under review. This alleged incident provides an opportunity for the acceleration of this review, so that, in the future, anyone in breach will be held firmly to account.

We are committed to working with ISSA, with whom we have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship over the years, for the continued success of this world class event.”

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