Dennis Shipping sails in to JAAA's rescueTuesday, June 15, 2021
BY DWAYNE RICHARDS
Dennis Shipping became the latest financial supporter of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) when the company made a $1-million donation to assist with the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA)/JAAA Olympic Destiny Series and the National Championships recently.
The donation was made by the president and CEO of Dennis Shipping himself, Dennis Hawthorne, at the office of the JAAA at 6 Tremaine Road in Kingston.
Hawthorne, who says that athletics is one of his favourite sports, said it was the right time to jump in and provide support to the JAAA.
“First of all, athletics is one of my number one sport and I know that because of the pandemic…the need is there. The athletes are suffering because they are not able to perform as usual, to earn some funds and I know JAAA, they have it hard right now in terms of donations.
“So, I decided that I am going to help out by giving a million dollars to help out with the athletes and I will continue to do this every year' to support them.”
A fanatic of the sport, Hawthorne has travelled the world to watch Jamaican athletes perform at various games and recalls the 2008 Olympic Games in China as among his favourite memories.
“Jamaica is basically the number one in track and field and I am so proud. I myself travel all over the world…to witness Jamaicans perform all over the world, like the World Championships, all the Olympic Games from 1996. So I am not just an average fan of athletics, I would consider myself a fanatic of track and field and I decided to help out and it's the best time right now. The opportunity came along and I decided to jump onboard and help out.
“One of my favourite memories…is 2008 when we were at the 'Bird's Nest' in China, that was one of my favourite. I don't think anything else could surpass it. My second favourite memory was in 2009 in Germany (at the World Championships).”
Events closer to home are also among those that are a must see for the shipping man, who is looking forward to seeing the likes of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and young sprint sensation Briana Williams perform at the National Championships later this month.
“Every year we go to Penn Relays, I look forward to it. Penn Relays and Champs are my next favourites.”
President of the JAAA, Garth Gayle, expressed gratitude for the kindness shown by Hawthorne, who he described as a “friend of track and field”.
“I am elated. Mr Dennis has always been a friend of track and field. He has shown his kindness and his love for the sport and we are very happy for it, because this will help to make our athletes compete better, knowing that there is some assistance along the way.”
The successful staging of the JOA/JAAA Olympic Destiny Series came to an end last weekend, while the National Championships are set to take place from June 24- 27 at the National Stadium in Kingston.
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