- Wards of the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home in Walderston, Manchester, now have a modern sports complex, which was built by Yohan Blake’s YB Afraid Foundation.
- The facility, which opened earlier this month, boasts a world-class basketball court and football field.
- The Foundation will be setting up sports facilities at the other homes across the country, which it supports.
Wards of the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home in Walderston, Manchester, now have a modern sports complex, which was built by Yohan Blake’s YB Afraid Foundation.
The facility, which opened earlier this month, boasts a world-class basketball court and football field.
It is one of the major projects undertaken by the Foundation at Mount Olivet since 2011, when it came on board with the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) in supporting the home.
It has already provided a computer laboratory and library, upgraded the water tank, and outfitted a games room.
Chairman of the YB Afraid Foundation, Timothy Spencer, told JIS News that the project was Blake’s idea. “He wanted a first-world standard playing facility, and that is why we imported artificial turf, and why the surface of the basketball court is entirely new instead of using asphalt. This material won’t damage their knees and it looks beautiful aesthetically,” he said.
Mr. Spencer also thanked the JIS for initiating the relationship between YB Afraid and the home. “The JIS is a big part of that because they were the ones who introduced us to Mount Olivet and started us on the whole thing. We are really grateful for that,” he stated.
Mr. Spencer is proud of the project, noting that the “boys are happy to have it”. “They love it and they use it every day. We can see that they love it and we are very pleased. We are invested in Mount Olivet and we want to expand what we have there. We’re getting together an extensive maintenance programme for the facility because it’s going to need maintenance,” he informed.
Mr. Spencer told JIS News that the Foundation will be setting up sports facilities at the other homes across the country, which it supports. “There are all kinds of benefits for children to play sports. They will learn the benefits of winning, losing, teamwork, and they will also maintain health, and sports are a very important part of who Yohan Blake is,” he said.
Director of the Mount Olivet Boys Home, Sonia Lowe, told JIS News that the boys and the staff are delighted for the sports facility.
“(Yohan) was good to his word and we have a wonderful facility not just for us but also for persons in the community. The boys are delighted. Sports, in itself, are a good way to reduce aggression and violence and we do have a problem with that in the society at the moment, and so we’re really grateful to Yohan and his whole team as well as the sponsors for providing us with this facility at this time,” she said.
Mrs. Lowe said she has been receiving requests from the primary schools within the community for the use of the facility for training purposes.
Mrs. Lowe expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Foundation, pointing out that the organisation has provided more than material items.
“YB Afraid Foundation has also brought on Expression Through Creativity, whose co-founder Regina Beavers has made available a coach for the boys on a bi-weekly basis for the next three months. The coach will teach the boys skill, rules, discipline and teamwork” she noted.
“I want to thank Melissa McIntoch, Timothy Josephs, the sponsors and everyone else included in this project. They have helped (the boys) with not just items needed, but also in the performing arts, taking a holistic approach to catering to the needs of the boys,” she added.