JM | Jan 21, 2022

Olympians Forte, Thompson-Herah give to causes close to their hearts

/ Our Today

Julian Forte at Wolmer’s High School for Boys.

The Wolmer’s Trust High School for Boys and the community of Banana Ground in Manchester are the two beneficiaries of the Grant A Wish 2021 programme, after being chosen by Olympians and National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited (NCBJ) brand ambassadors Julian Forte and Elaine Thompson-Herah, respectively.

Thompson-Herah, through her FastElaine Foundation, distributed more than 500 packages to the citizens in her birth parish.

Held at the Banana Ground Square in Manchester, citizens from the surrounding communities also benefitted from the Christmas cheer.

Elaine Thompson-Herah with one of the young residents of Banana Ground in Manchester.

Thompson-Herah said contributions from NCB Foundation boosted the ability to provide the food and care packages.

“I chose Banana Ground because that is my home ground, that is where I experienced Christmas for many years. I wanted to spread some blessings,” Thompson-Herah said.

Alma Mater Support

Forte said his choice for a recipient was very simple.

“I was a part of the track team… . I know what it takes to become a champion. But I know that funding is increasingly important, especially in these times,” Forte said during the handover.

​“So, I am just happy that I, along with the NCB Foundation​,​ ​could help in giving back to my alma mater.”

Forte got the chance to talk to 12 members of the track team who are training for the 2022 ISSA Boys’ Track and Field Championships. He told them of his participation in the team that won the 2010 Championships, the 100th anniversary of the showcase.

Forte with athletes at Wolmer’s.

“We had a specific culture. We all helped each other. We had a belief in ourselves and our system that was the key factor in securing our win,” Forte encouraged: “Though track and field is an individual sport at this level, it is team-based, with everybody scoring points so that we can all win. It is important that each of you help the other one to achieve the goal because, at the end of the day, it’s all for the team. Things always look impossible before they are done.”

​Principal Dwight Pennycooke, in accepting the donation, said the entire ​​​Wolmer’​s​ community was filled with gratitude.

“Undoubtedly, ​the young men will ​​benefit greatly, especially during this time of the pandemic and when we have to be considering matters of their mental health and their general well​-being,” Pennycooke said.

“We need to have them engage in physical activity and the track and field program​me​ is key to that. So, again, a big thank you on behalf of the entire ​​Wolmer​’​s Boys’ School.”


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