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Olympian, Sheri-Ann Brooks, has lauded her alma mater, Manchester High, for its role in building good characters by instilling discipline in its students and fostering dedication.
“Students education is the key to success. Remember our school motto: ‘Let your light so shine’, and wherever we go in the world, we let our light shine,” she said, urging the students to be disciplined and dedicated, while thanking teachers for supporting the school’s athletics programme.
Miss Brooks was one of three Olympians who visited the school, following the outstanding performances of Jamaican athletes at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The other athletes were: Gold medallist, Nesta Carter, and Silver medallist, Sherone Simpson.
She said the Olympics had been a great experience for all the athletes, as they lived and performed like a family, and as a result were able to reap success. “Nothing in life is impossible. Once you have your goal in mind, never lose sight of it. Work towards your goal, and you will be successful,” she charged the students.
Meanwhile, Miss Simpson also attributed her success to the molding of her character by teachers at her alma mater, stating that “all that I’ve been through is because of discipline, hard work, and dedication. You have a lot of obstacles, but you can overcome all those obstacles to achieve what you want.”
She emphasised the difficulty of balancing academics and athletics, but added that athletics programmes teach proper time management.
Meanwhile, Mr. Carter implored the students to identify their respective talents and capitalize on them, to obtain scholarships to complete high school and attend university. He also made an appeal to parents to “give your kids the support, without the support they are not going to make it.”
Miss Simpson, speaking on behalf of the other Olympians, said “we are happy that we are able to play our little part, in helping to build a better Jamaica.”
The visit forms part of the national Olympic Homecoming activities, and is dubbed “Pass the Torch” with the central theme of “Giving Back to Your School, Community and Country.”