St. Kitts and Nevis Students Set to Make History at Penn Relays

[Photo Caption: Kylla Herbert, president of the South Jersey Caribbean Cultural and Development organization, during a meeting at CEMSS regarding Charles E. Mills Secondary School’s participation at Penn Relays in February 2023. Photo by Gregory Elliott.]

In an exciting development for the twin-island federation of St. Kitts and Nevis (SKN), the Charles E. Mills Secondary School (CEMSS) in Sandy Point is gearing up to become the first school from the nation to participate in the renowned Penn Relays Carnival. The announcement, made by Kylla Herbert, president of the South Jersey Caribbean Cultural and Development Organization (SJCCDO) and chairperson of the SKN Penn Relays Committee, has generated waves of enthusiasm and anticipation.

CEMSS, renowned as the eight-time consecutive winners of the St. Kitts and Nevis Inter-School Championships, will send a contingent of twelve athletes – seven boys and five girls – along with four staff members, to compete at the prestigious event held at the Franklin Field Stadium at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia from April 25 to 27.

Herbert expressed her excitement about the milestone, stating, “It’s wonderful to see St. Kitts and Nevis be represented at the Penn Relays since we have been working with CEMSS for the last four years. They have overcome many obstacles to make this journey a reality.” She commended the coaches, support staff, and athletes for their dedication and perseverance in preparing for the event.

The journey to the Penn Relays has been marked by challenges, including delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic and visa acquisition issues. However, the determination of CEMSS and the support from various organizations, including the SKN Penn Relays Committee and Team SVG International Support, Inc., have been instrumental in realizing this dream.

Vincentian James Cordice, Director of Team SVG International Support, provided expertise and guidance to Herbert’s committee, facilitating the process of attending the Penn Relays. Cordice has a track record of assisting schools from the Caribbean, including St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Belize, in participating in the event.

The participation of CEMSS at the Penn Relays not only provides a platform for showcasing talent but also offers invaluable opportunities for international exposure, networking, and skill enhancement. The athletes, along with their coaches and staff, are eager to make the most of this experience and represent their school and country with pride.

While preparations are underway, financial and in-kind support is still needed to ensure a smooth and successful trip for the contingent. Herbert urged organizations, individuals, and friends from St. Kitts and Nevis to collaborate on this initiative, emphasizing the importance of showcasing talent from the region on the international stage.

As the countdown to the Penn Relays begins, excitement mounts among the CEMSS community and supporters alike. With their eyes set on the track and their hearts filled with determination, the students of CEMSS are poised to make history and leave an indelible mark at this prestigious event.

For those interested in supporting the athletes from CEMSS at the Penn Relays, Kylla Herbert can be contacted at 267-257-9625 or

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