Western News

Bolt gives back

Fastest man fetes over 200 children in Sherwood Content

BY HORACE HINES Observer west reporter hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, January 03, 2013    

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SHERWOOD CONTENT, Trelawny - SPRINT legend Usain Bolt hosted a massive treat here in his native community on Boxing Day for scores of children who gathered on the grounds of the Piedmont Basic and Waldensia Primary schools.

The legendary sprinter, who crowned an impressive list of achievements in 2012, winning the international sports journalist award for the world's top male athlete of 2012 and the IAAF Athlete of the Year among other accolades, is a past student of both the Piedmont Basic and Waldensia Primary schools.

Last week Wednesday he returned to his community to host the treat for children up to 12 years old under the banner of the Usain Bolt Foundation. The event was staged in partnership with Digicel and KFC.

The unassuming sprinter, who milled around for most of the day with his parents Jennifer and Wellesly Bolt; his childhood friends, including Nugent Walker, and former schoolteachers, was kept busy signing autographs and posing for the cameras with a number of the more than 200 children who turned up for the treat.

The acclaimed speedster expressed his gratitude to all stakeholders and the children who showed up for the treat.

"Thanks to KFC and Digicel and just thanks to everybody for coming out. It is my pleasure to put on this little treat. I remember when I was younger it was always fun at Christmastime. We used to come out and have some fun. So it is a pleasure to have everyone here.....just to have some fun," Bolt said, as he charged the children to "continue working hard and enjoy school and play".

Throughout the day the celebrated athlete also assisted in the serving of food, toys and back-to-school items to the scores of children in attendance.

Apart from the food, toys and school items, the children were also treated to rides.

The fastest man on the planet also made a presentation of footballs to the Waldensia Primary School. The gift was received by Sheron Seivwright, a veteran teacher at the institution.

Meanwhile, the children in attendance at the treat expressed their gratitude to the sprinter for staging the event.

"I am happy for the treat put on by Usain," a cheerful Brittanya Davis told the Observer West.

Her view was echoed by Reneika Dale.

"It was good because he (Bolt) came and he gave the children food, toys to make them happy; and school bags," said a delighted Dale.

The Usain Bolt Foundation last year contributed to several charities including the Cardiac Surgery Programme at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, five primary and basic schools in Portland with playground equipment and has donated items for several fund-raising events for children with special needs.

And late last year, Bolt donated a new bus to his alma mater, William Knibb Memorial High School in Martha Brae, Trelawny.

The track star has also assisted in the $4 million renovation of the health centre in the Sherwood Content community a few years ago.

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