Digicel gives West Indies players and Jamaican special students a day they’ll never forget!
Cricket, dancing, food, fun, pure unadulterated joy and not a party stand in sight! Indeed, all this action was not taking place at Sabina Park in the Mound but at the Genesis Academy in Kingston, Jamaica, where West Indies players enjoyed a visit with some very enthusiastic and talented special needs children, courtesy of Digicel.
“These kids are so brave! It was just wonderful to see them showcasing their talents, dancing and singing in front of everyone. I was truly surprised by their amazing spirit and how much real fun we all had today,” said Jamaican bowler Andre Russell as he left the facility on Friday after the session..
Russell was in awe and still reeling from the experience. “We just cannot take anything for granted. I love being able to touch lives in this way, and I would do this again anytime. It was a great experience. I think we enjoyed it more than the children!”
Russell was joined by teammates Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Ravi Rampaul, Adrian Barath and Marlon Samuels. The fun event was organised by the Digicel Foundation in Jamaica who has been affiliated with, and helping the school since 2007.
Robert Neish, Digicel Foundation Chairman, was also thrilled by the visit. “It was a wonderful idea to have the cricketers visit. When you bring special people like these athletes together with these special kids it creates the most incredible synergy along with memories they cherish their whole lives.”
The players enjoyed a tour of the school, chatted with the kids and had lunch but the highlight of the day was the show! Digicel Rising Stars Cameal Davis (2008) and Chris Martin (2005) performed for the students and the players, but this soon turned into a full on dance party, and the players did just as much dancing as the students! For a whole hour there was singing, clapping, dancing and a lot of smiles and laughter.
Genesis Principal, Sharon FongKong-Foran expressed her tremendous delight at having the players with them for the day, “All of our students got to experience the great West Indies win at Sabina Park Thursday and cheer them on. They were actually cheering the loudest in the stands! To have the players come here and spend one on one time with them…this is just wonderful. It is really something they will talk about again and again for a very long time.”
The students made presentations of hand-made cards and gifts to the players and in turn the players presented West Indies-signed bats and a signed shirt to the school.
“A day like this truly represents everything that is important about Digicel’s sponsorship of West Indies Cricket. Supporting the team and then having them touch people’s lives in this way is why we do what we do,” summed up Karl Donnelly, Digicel Group Head of Sponsorship.