Fraser-Pryce's Pocket Rocket Foundation 10th anniversary gala set for November 4

By October 11, 2023
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (front centre) with 2023 Pocket Rocket Foundation Scholarship recipients: Back row:- (l-r) Tyrone Lawson of Jamaica College; Kenrick McFarlane, St. Jago; Joel Lamm, Wolmers Boys; Streme Cha, Campion High School; Tshani Armstrong, St Catherine High; Karissa Kelly, Wolmers and Jahiem Jackson, Knox College. Front row (l-r) :- Natrece East, Wolmers; Jordayne Grant, Wolmers;, Nickayla Russell, Holmwood Technical High School; and Lysandra Taylor, Papine High School. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (front centre) with 2023 Pocket Rocket Foundation Scholarship recipients: Back row:- (l-r) Tyrone Lawson of Jamaica College; Kenrick McFarlane, St. Jago; Joel Lamm, Wolmers Boys; Streme Cha, Campion High School; Tshani Armstrong, St Catherine High; Karissa Kelly, Wolmers and Jahiem Jackson, Knox College. Front row (l-r) :- Natrece East, Wolmers; Jordayne Grant, Wolmers;, Nickayla Russell, Holmwood Technical High School; and Lysandra Taylor, Papine High School.

Global track and field icon Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and her Pocket Rocket Foundation are celebrating 10 years of existence this year and in celebration, and to raise funds to offer even more scholarships to student-athletes in need of financial support, will be staging a fundraising banquet on November 4 that will be streamed on Sportsmax.

The two-time Olympic 100m gold medallist promises that the occasion will be one to remember.

Since its inception in 2013, the foundation has awarded scholarships to 73 student athletes across various sports from 26 schools across Jamaica. They are able to do so through generous backing from companies like GraceKennedy, Digicel and now National Baking Company Foundation, who donated JMD$1,000,000.00 to the foundation at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on Tuesday when 11 more student-athletes were awarded scholarships.

Each scholarship recipient, in addition to the JMD$100,000 academic scholarship, will also receive, JMD$7500 NIKE book bag, official Pocket Rocket Foundation notebooks and Promise Pin, a JMD$15,000 Book voucher, a $10,000 GraceKennedy Food Basket and a JMD$25,000 DIGICEL Tablet with JMD$3,000 worth of credit.

Fraser-Pryce explained afterwards that the work is just beginning hence the fundraiser planned for next month.

“For the Pocket Rocket Foundation, we have a lot of visions that we are implementing currently from the Rocket Start Breakfast Programme that we rolled out last year, donating deep freezes and refrigerators to different schools, just to enhance school life,” she remarked.

“What we have coming up is the Pocket Rocket Foundation’s 10th anniversary fundraising gala at the AC Hotel on November 4 when we are looking forward to all that we have been able to accomplish throughout the years as well as implementing a (public-relations) etiquette seminar for students.”

Among the foundation’s future plans is a strategy to prepare high school student-athletes for college by providing them with the tools they need to successfully make the transition thus enhancing the chances of success.

“I think one of the things that is also important for the foundation is college readiness,” said Fraser-Pryce, who has a degree in Child and Adolescent Development from the University of Technology.

“We have a lot of athletes that are here from different sports and a lot of them will need help in transitioning because it is not as easy as it seems. It definitely takes a while to transition and some of the things we want also want to be able to offer them is mental health support because for a lot of persons there are different ways that they cope and I want to assist as best as possible, helping them to cope. It’s not just about giving them cash and kind but it is to be readily available to cater to different needs that we don’t know of or money can’t buy.”

These are among the reasons why the five-time World 100m champion will be asking patrons of the gala to make the sacrifice and turn out for the occasion because every dollar raised will go towards building these student-athletes into productive citizens of Jamaica.

“How it works is that you just empty your bank account, give it us and we can continue to invest in student-athletes,” she said breaking out into laughter.

“The ticket costs USD$350 and also, as a company, you can be a sponsor of the gala and you can have a table for your company to have up to 10 persons to attend. We’ll have items for auction and raffle items,” she said.

“Sportsmax will also be there to live-stream the event so wherever you are in the world you will be able to participate. It will be a night of excellence.”

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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