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Gibson Relays

The Gibson Relays


History & Impact on Jamaica’s Sports Culture and Social Development

By:  Verene A. Shepherd

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Product Description

The Gibson Relays is arguably the best run track and field meet in Jamaica. Originally named in memory of Bishop Percival Gibson, the founder and legendary first headmaster of Kingston College, this annual relay carnival is also the longest-running athletic event in Jamaica, next to the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships.

In its first 40 years of existence, the driving force behind the Gibson Relays was Teddy McCook who created an organization in the Gibson Relays Organizing Committee (GROC) that has maintained the high standards of efficiency, punctuality, and dedication that have come to characterize the Relays. Today, they are fittingly named the Gibson McCook Relays.

Having assumed the mantle of leadership of the GROC, current Chairman, Professor  Rainford Wilks, who along with his colleagues, conceived the idea of producing a history of the Gibson Relays that would not only be a tribute to the Gibson and McCook memory but would also record the highlights and capture the spirit of the Relays over its 40+ years. 

This  history of the Gibson Relays incorporates its philosophy and the work that has gone into building a world-class branded event. Readers are presented with a complete record of every race run, highlights of outstanding performances, and analyses of the major trends in school performance and participation. But that is not all; the history of the Gibson Relays is recounted and analyzed in the context of the development of track and field athletics in Jamaica, as well as its broader social context including a discussion of the role of gender in sports.

The work is copiously illustrated with archival photographs and memorabilia from the early years, as well more familiar scenes from later years which  capture action on the track, as well as the personalities who plan throughout the year and execute on the day of each meet.

The Gibson Relays Organizing Committee is pleased to present this book to the schools and institutions that participate, the individuals and sponsors who serve and support, and the tens of thousands of fans who have helped to make the Gibson Relays their event of choice.

Additional information

Weight 2 lbs
Dimensions 10 x 7 in


Page Count:




Publication Date:

June 2017



  1. The Gibson Relays: History and Origins
  2. Whats in a Name? The Life and Times of Bishop Percival William Gibson
  3. “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work”: The Team behind the Organisation of the Gibson Relays
  4. Teddy McCook: Chief Cook and Bottle Washer
  5. Philosophy of the Gibson Relays




  1. The Inaugural Gibson Relyas
  2. The Relays: 1973-2014
  3. Sponsors and Sponsorship




  1. Gender and Sports
  2. Sports, Development and the Impact of the Gibson Relays



Verene A. Shepherd, is a Professor of Social History and University Director of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies, The University of the West Indies.


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