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Salute to JA's dream team

DREAM TEAM: Glen Mills and Usain Bolt during a training session, and, inset, Bolt on the Olympic podium at Rio 2016

EIGHT-TIME Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt and his coach Glen Mills are set to seal their legacy to Jamaican sport at a special Voice and Jamaica National event this week.

The sporting legend and his coach will be joined by hundreds of celebrities from the worlds of politics, sports and entertainment for a spe- cial dinner and auction at an exclusive London hotel on Sunday (July 16) to pay tribute to Bolt and Mills’ success.

RECORDS

Bolt, coached throughout his career by Mills, has broken numerous world records and inspired millions all over the world with his Olympic and world championship success.

But now the duo have set their sights on inspiring the next generation of Jamaica’s track and field stars.
The event on Sunday will raise money for the Racers Track Club, where things really began for the Jamaican sprinter.

Over the years, the Racers Track Club has nurtured many brilliant Jamaican athletes under the tutelage of coach Mills, such as Kemar Bailey-Cole, Aleen Bailey, Yohan Blake and Warren Weir.

Mills has also enhanced the performance of international sprinters, such as Britain’s Dwain Chambers and St Kitts and Nevis star Kim Collins. In an interview with The Voice earlier this year, Bolt said: “I feel blessed that I was able to achieve my goals as an athlete, and I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my life.


CHAMP: Bolt

“[It is] very satisfying, especially since we are coming from humble beginnings. Racers Track Club is integral to my track and field success. Training is very important in order to be successful, and we have a solid institution to ensure the continued development of track and field in Jamaica.”

And the champion athlete was full of praise for the man known by those close to him as coach Mills. He said: “Coach is a father figure and best friend to me. He’s more than a coach and I’m very grateful he is in my life. He has taught me more than just about track, and I will forever be thankful.”

Mills also expressed his appreciation for the event, which will help the Racers Track Club develop more talented young athletes.

He said: “Last year, our club hosted its inaugural JN Racers Grand Prix in Kingston and with the committed support of our sponsors, including lead sponsor, Jamaica National (JN), and it achieved overwhelming success.

“Numerous Jamaican athletes have contributed to the popularity and growth of ath- letics in Jamaica and have been dedicated ambassadors for our country. The Racers Track Club has been instrumental in that regard.

“For the development of athletics in Jamaica to be sustained, it is necessary to ensure that our young athletes and clubs realise their full potential and to continue to maintain the success of Jamaica’s athletic programme.”

The charity dinner will include an auction, hosted by British Olympic and World Championship medallist, Colin Jackson, which will offer guests to acquire unique sports items that have been donated by Jamaican athletes, top stars from other sports and English Premier League football clubs.
Among those who have given their support to the event are Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Sebastian Coe, and Earl Jarrett, head of Jamaica National.


SUPPORTIVE: Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Speaking ahead of the highly anticipated event, Prime Minister Holness said: “The Voice and the Jamaica National Group must be commended for organising this event. This celebration is timely as we prepare for the IAAF World Championships to be staged in London in August. We stand confident that our athletes will exhibit their prowess on the track and in the field.”

He added: “I applaud The Voice, which in its 35th anniversary has demonstrated its dedication to championing the cause for the success of African and Caribbean athletes. Its investment in the Racers Track Club will give young athletes access to opportunities and resources to stay on top of their game."


Earl Jarrett

Earl Jarrett, chief executive officer at The Jamaica National Group, said: “We are confident that the funds raised from this charity event, and others, will serve to benefit aspiring Jamaican athletes, currently poised at the base of the pyramid, and prepared to access training to achieve the pinnacle of success.

“In that regard we, at the Jamaica National Group, are proud to partner with The Voice, Britain’s number one black newspaper, as the UK media house celebrates its 35th anniversary and co-hosts this event at the Dorchester Hotel, London.

“We commend Usain Bolt and Glen Mills, our Jamaican sports stalwarts, as they join with other contrib- utors, to demonstrate the power of ‘giving and receiving’.” Paulette Simpson, director of The Voice newspaper, concluded: “As the newspaper cel- ebrates its 35th anniversary, the management and staff are pleased to be a part of this significant event.

“This dinner presents The Voice and The JN Group with the opportunity to recognise the achievements of Usain Bolt and coach Glen Mills and to honour their contribution.”

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