Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and Florette Blackwood, Senior Director, Sport Development and Monitoring Division in the ministry examine the running shoes worn by Veronica Campbell Brown (right) at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Campbell Brown also presented one of her London 2012 running outfits to Grange to be placed in the National Sport Museum. The presentation was made at the launch of the 2018 VCB 5K Run/Walk Race scheduled for Vere in Clarendon on January 21.
THE Troy Primary School in Trelawny — the institution attended by Olympian Veronica Campbell Brown — is to be renamed in her honour, Culture and Sport Minister Olivia Grange announced Thursday.
Minister Grange made the announcement at Jamaica Pegasus during the launch of the 2018 VCB 5K Run/Walk Race, scheduled for Vere in Clarendon on January 21.
“Plans are well advanced for Troy Primary, which occupies a building which is over 100 years old, to be renamed for Veronica. It is one of the Jamaica 55 Legacy Projects,” the minister said.
She said also that the old teachers' cottage at Troy Primary would be restored subject to approval from the Jamaica National Heritage Trust and that the school building and property would be renovated.
The eight-time Olympic medallist attended Troy Primary before going on to Vere Technical High School for her secondary education.
Minister Grange also announced that the contract had been signed for the erection of the Veronica Brown statue at the National Stadium. “The VCB statue will be done and ready for unveiling by the end of this year.”
Minister Grange said that Veronica Campbell Brown, after enjoying an extraordinary career which had put her amongst those who are the world's most successful track and field athletes, had decided to give back to Jamaica “in a big way” with the establishment of the VCB Foundation in 2011 and inauguration of the VCB 5K Run/Walk in 2016.
“As we know, the foundation provides financial support and mentoring to girls attending Vere Technical High School, St Andrew Technical High School and Troy and Erwin high schools. The foundation will expand to eight schools this year.
So far, Campbell Brown has given more than $2 million from her pocket to the work of the foundation.
“Not surprisingly, being the athlete that she will always be, VCB also came up with the idea of a 5k Run/Walk, providing an opportunity for supporters and well-wishers to join her on her mission to empower young women to achieve,” said Grange. “The event certainly has the endorsement and support of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.”
Grange, noting that Jamaica's athletes in general had helped “to put us on the map” and assisted immensely in strengthening Brand Jamaica, pledged that the Government would do all that it could to support the athletes.
She hailed Veronica Campbell Brown as not just a great athlete, but a great Jamaican woman.
The launch ended with Campbell Brown presenting the minister with a pair of her running shoes from the Beijing Olympics, and one of her running outfits from the London Olympics. The items will be placed in the Sport Museum.