The Pushcart ~ Sport & Commerce

What is a push cart? Pushcarts are those homemade carts that can be seen all across Jamaica. They are used as a moving restaurant (vendors who sell food etc), to transport items (mainly merchandise to the market, but some are used as moving trucks) or as a racing cart (similar to North America soap box) in push cart derbys held across the island. Push-carting began as a grassroots sport and has become a very popular event.

The Kaiser’s Sports Club is the venue for the finals of the annual Push Cart Derby in August. Many of the owners of these homemade carts compete for cash prizes and trophies. Some of these carts are very sophisticated and have been clocked at 60 miles per hour on a downhill homestretch.

The pushcart derby in Jamaica is credited for the inspiration to start a Jamaican Bobsleigh team. Two American businessmen who attended the Jamaican Push Cart Derby were so impressed by the skills of the participants that it inspired them to negotiate the formation of a Jamaican Bobsleigh team with the Jamaican government and the prospective participants.  ~ Jamaicans.com

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2 thoughts on “The Pushcart ~ Sport & Commerce

  1. This really hit home with me, because I just saw Cool Runnings last week. Interesting they call it “bobsleigh” rather than “bobsled.” Never knew about the pushcart derby in Jamaica, which was an inspiration for an Olympic Jamaican bobsleigh/bobsled team. I noticed those pushcarts at the market, and they mean more to me now.

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  2. It always begins with a dream, the dream of roaring down a hill on 4 wheels in a race to be the first, the best and the fastest.
    It ends with arms raised in celebration and smiles …

    The All American Soap Box Derby has been fulfilling the dream of youth since 1934, and since then thousands of kids have raced down the slope of Derby Downs in Akron Ohio in pursuit of the brass ring, as Soap Box Derby World Champions jacket, ring and college scholarship.

    Local organizations and individuals are invited by the All American Soap Box Derby International Regional Director, Bernie Daynes to encourage them to spearhead the exploration of creating a Local Championship Program on the island and region.

    The process is simple, and begins with a group of interested people in the community coming together to put the pieces together to accomplish the goal of bringing Championship derby racing to the community and giving a local youth and their family to opportunity to represent the city, the province and Canada at the All American Soap Box Derby World Championships. Local and area businesses and organizations are encouraged to step up and become players in the creation of this program.

    Soap Box Derby racing has become more then just kids slapping some parts together and racing each other down a hill, it has become an educational tool as well, with the introduction of the Masters of Gravity, a STEM based program developed for teachers and educators who use the building of an official soap box derby car as a learning tool for children. Following a compete lesson plan teachers and students can explore the fundaments of science, technology, engineering and math. A hands on experiential learning tool. This process can by part of the creation of a Local Championship, with willing sponsors and supporters purchasing an official car kit and then partnering with a school in the community and area. A team of students can be formed, the car then can be built using the STEM program Masters of Gravity as an educational process and finally as an entry into the Local All American SBD event.

    The unique thing about the creation of a partnership between schools and businesses or organizations, is the investment made is not just in a car but in the education of youth and the fulfillment of a dream. Corporately sponsored car kits can be used one year, disassembled and reused again in following years time and time again, making the initial cost investment a one time expense. The cars become rolling billboard for the sponsor and the school they have partnered with… its a win-win opportunity for the kids, the sponsor and the community.

    The journey begins in the home town participating in a Local Championship, the dream begins with the announcement in the local news paper, that a Local Championship event will be held in the community for all kids who have dreamed of feeling the wind on their face as they roar down a hill with gravity as their motor. A green sport, a true family sport, and an activity that has no barriers preventing a child’s participation. gender, athletic skills, race, nationality or religion do not prevent a family from being part of the “Worlds Greatest Amateur Racing Event in the World”

    For the community, it becomes an annual carnival of fun, sportsmanship and competition, and it takes only the will and commitment of a few to open the door to the fulfillment of a dream.

    In this day and age where we strive for equality and inclusiveness, the All American Soap Box Derby is one event and sport that opens doors, opens lives, and welcomes family unity.

    The community has the opportunity to have its champion or champions join the world in Akron … It starts with an idea, the will to succeed, and the desire to see children fulfill a dream!

    The community has the tools to succeed, to create the process, come together, work together to make it so !

    REMEMBER – NOT ALL KIDS CAN PLAY HOCKEY, LACROSSE or SOCCER, BUT THEY CAN ALL BE SOAP BOX DERBY RACERS

    It begins with a Dream. it ends with a Champion in Akron at the World Championships !!

    Interested parties are invited to contact the International Regional Director, Bernie Daynes

    Bernie Daynes
    All American SBD International Regional Director
    (h) 705-740-2160 (c)1-705-868-9215
    bdaynes@bell.net

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