The annual Sports Day at the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home in Walderston, Manchester, on April 7 was a time to exercise the body and mind and to have fun as participants engaged in a variety of competitions with the boys, aged 6 to 18 years.
A notable feature of the day was the visit and participation by members of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) staff, their families and friends.
The day’s activities included a number of races, football, tug of war, table tennis, bun-eating contest and maths races.
Director of the Mt. Olivet Boys’ Home, Patrick Newman, was elated with the day’s activities.
Since 2009, when the JIS adopted the Home, a team from the agency visits the boys at least three times annually to spend quality time while mentoring the boys.
The JIS also invites sponsors to support the initiative, providing well-needed items and instituting programmes that benefit the Home, which accommodates 41 boys.
“This is a unique partnership between the staff at JIS and the Mt. Olivet Boys’ Home. The boys look forward to you coming each year and sharing the sports day with them, and I know that this will continue and will grow as time goes on,” Mr. Newman said.
He also announced that plans are in train with the YB Afraid Foundation to build a new facility. Yohan Blake’s YB Afraid Foundation has sponsored the Home on a number of projects, including the building of the complex where sporting activities now take place.
For her part, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the JIS, Donna-Marie Rowe, cited developments at the Home that have emerged from sponsorship programmes, and reiterated the invitation for others to come on board.
“For the Sports Day, we are now able to play on the turf. When we first came here, this area was just dirt. Now, there’s so much to be grateful for regarding the development that has taken place,” she said.
The CEO commended her team of organisers who planned the activities at the Home.
“We have a very good team. The Special Projects Department and the Mount Olivet Planning Committee ensure that we take a strategic approach to our visits, so every time we are going to the
Home, there is full planning. I think the boys are very happy for the range of activities that we have to offer every time we visit,” she said.
Mrs. Rowe pointed out that the agency supports the boys and is committed to the relationship with the Home.
“When we just came here they were a little sceptical and felt we wouldn’t be here for the long haul, but we’re grateful that we are able to focus and to show that we do care. There’s a bond, and I want to be a part of it. We will continue to talk to the management and staff at the Home and build on the relationship,” the CEO said.
Several sponsors have been on board since the beginning and continue to give support. Sponsors for the Sports Day visit were Coldfield Manufacturers Limited; Maxfield Bakery; National Baking Company Limited; Tastee Patties; JP Tropical Foods Limited; the Jamaica Urban Transit Company; and Perishables Jamaica Limited, whose Managing Director, Norman Wright, joined the team on the visit.