The Jamaican cabinet has signed off on the decision to give the 40-year-old Olympic champion, Veronica Campbell-Brown, the glory they think she truly deserves by renaming the primary school she attended in her honour.
Veronica Campbell-Brown was born in the parish of Trelawny, and like renowned sprinter Usain Bolt, she did not allow her circumstances to hold her back.
According to Olympics.com, the sprinter was born into a family of nine siblings. Like a few of her Jamaican sprint colleagues, Campbell-Brown grew up running barefoot on school sports days. This helped propel her into realizing her talent as a sprinter. In order to pursue her dreams, when she came of age, Campbell-Brown travelled to the United States of America to perfect her craft.
She won a scholarship to Barton County Community College in Kansas, where she set records in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. The young sprinter became an inspirational legend to many of her fellow Jamaicans when she became the first woman from the country to acquire a gold medal in a sprint event.
In an article by the Jamaica Star, Olivia Grange, the Jamaican minister of culture, gender, entertainment, and sports, was the one who made the first announcement to rename the Troy Primary School after the sprinting star in 2018. The institution, which is located in the community of Troy, has shared the name of the community for over a century.
However, in a cabinet meeting, Minister Grange happily announced that the decision to have the school renamed after the Jamaican sprinter has been finalized. Adding to her statement, Minister Grange said that it was also in their plans to renovate the school’s cottage, which is the same age as the educational institution.
The Jamaican sprinter attended Troy Primary School, but she did not live in the community. She was from Clarks Town, which is in the same parish as Trelawny. In an attempt to get the sprinter’s thoughts on the matter, her agent conveyed that she knew of the arrangements to name the school after her, but she hadn’t been greatly informed of the situation, so she had no comment for the media at the time.
The principal of the institution, Keneisha McIntosh, made it very clear that she approved of the decision to rename the school after the Campbell-Brown and that she was elated that it had finally been approved. Additionally, she looked forward to the name helping to propel the school forward and making the institution known across the world.
McIntosh also voiced that the institution of 216 students has benefited time and time again from the Campbell-Brown Foundation throughout the years. She said, “There have been timely donations to the school. These include computers and tablets. Most recently a multi-purpose court was constructed by her foundation.”
Although principal McIntosh expressed gratitude for the assistance, she also stated that she would like to see more done. She stated that they would like a restroom built for the school’s faculty as well, as they share one with the students.
The school’s board chairman, Kevin Grant, also took the opportunity to express his delight in the renaming of the school and the renovation of the school’s cottage. He also expressed sadness, saying that he was always afraid of one of the school’s children getting hurt while playing near the compromised structure. Colin Gager, the councillor for the Warsop Division, where the school lies, said that the community of Troy is greatly deserving of the honour and that it would help to uplift the view of the community.
In her cabinet briefing, Minister Grange also made it known that they were awaiting a response from Campbell-Brown to confirm when she would be on the island so they could make arrangements to have the ceremony held.