More up-and-coming local track and field athletes will now be repping sponsored sportswear from German brand – Puma, largely because of the work of BVI’s star 400-metre hurdles athlete, Kyron McMaster.
Puma this year signed major sponsorship deals with McMaster and local long-jumper, Chantel Malone.
But, while addressing members of the media at the TB Lettsome International Airport on Thursday, McMaster said he has solicited Puma’s assistance for other local athletes.
He said this assistance will ease the financial burden on local government.
“With the contract with Puma, I am trying to get them to help out the BVI as much as it can so that when the BVI competes, it competes in Puma. We don’t have to run to the government to ask them for funding, for clothing, or shoes.”
“So, Puma is not only looking out for us (Malone and I) but they are interested in the BVI as well,” he added.
According to the 400-metre hurdles sensation, he knows all too well the ‘struggle’ of not having ‘the better stuff’ in a small island territory.
“Being signed by Puma is a great deal especially coming from a small nation. It is very few athletes who have actually reached the level that I have reached but … me being on top is not just about being me alone,” McMaster explained.
He said Puma has already begun its ‘assist BVI’ campaign and has given him sportswear to pass on to local athletes.
Kyron helped me
Meanwhile, Malone also described landing a sponsorship deal with Puma as ‘a big move’.
She said McMaster played a major role in her receiving the deal.
“I want to thank Kyron because he basically opened the door for me to be able to be seen more. Back in the day, we use to find something to put on our backs but now we are in uniform.”
The two athletes have been making major international milestones in their athletic careers in recent times.
McMaster made the British Virgin Islands proud when he won a historic gold medal in the Men’s 400-metre hurdles event at the Commonwealth Games in April.
Malone also made history in 2017 by becoming the first BVI athlete to make it to the finals of a Long Jump event at the IAAF World Championships.
A hero’s welcome
In the meantime, scores of supporters turned out at the Beef Island airport on Thursday to welcome the star athletes, inclusive of the BVI’s queen of sprint, Tahesia Harrigan-Scott.
They received warm greetings and cheers from the crowd that had gathered outside the airport.
Following the meet and greet, authorities put on a motorcade for the athletes.
A prize giving ceremony will be held today in their honour.
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