Waterhouse school renamed in honour of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

By December 08, 2022

The Penwood Church of Christ Early Childhood Institution in Kingston was on Thursday, December 8, renamed the Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce Early Childhood Institution in honour of the five-time World 100m champion and three-time Olympic gold medallist, who grew up in the underserved community.

In addition to the renaming of the school, the church also had a billboard mounted congratulating the athletic icon for her accomplishments this past season.

Fraser-Pryce’s sponsor Nike presented a cheque for US$100,000 while GraceKennedy committed to JMD$500,0000 to a breakfast programme instituted by Fraser-Pryce as well as a lunch programme.

Digicel Foundation, meanwhile, is in discussion about in what way they will support the ECI.

Thursday’s ceremony was several years in the making, according to Raphael Walker, Elder at the Penwood Church of Christ and Chairman of the Early Childhood Institution. He explained that several years ago, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, had declared that in recognition of her athletic exploits, a decision had been made to name an educational institution after the celebrated athlete.

“A few years ago, the Minister of Sport (Olivia) ‘Babsy’ Grange made an announcement. When that announcement was made they started looking for schools to would be named in her honour,” said Walker.

“Shelly indicated that she wanted to be one of the schools that she attended. She attended George Headley, so that renaming wasn’t there, Wolmer’s is named after John Wolmer, so it came down to the ECI that she attended.

“The church met and agreed from then.”

Following the decision, the Early Childhood Commission and Culture, Heart, Arts, Sport and Education (CHASE) Fund renovated the school. “The school was equipped with smart boards and smart equipment, the kitchen was renovated, the playground, the entire school was renovated but nothing had happened since,” the chairman disclosed.

“We got impatient. We said we are going to rename it the Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ECI and when they (the government) decide what they are going to do it will become the Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce Infant School.”

Deacon Walker said the occasion was well received.

“The decision was made soon after she won the world title in Oregon. Generally, the church has always done something for her after every achievement. So, in addition to the renaming, there is a billboard that we have put up congratulating for all that she did this year,” he said.

It was well received, there were people from the church, the children of the basic school performed and a citation was given to Fraser-Pryce, who made a ‘powerful’ speech to the gathering.

“It was a very powerful speech that she made conferring her commitment to Waterhouse, the church, the school and a pledge to continue to give back and empower the children of Waterhouse and to make their lives much better.”

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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