Tue | Jan 15, 2019

Push-up challenge gathering speed

Published:Wednesday | September 24, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Stewart's Auto's Jackie Lechler (foreground) leads the team in a push-up session to benefit schools across the island that have no water tank.
Contributed Photos Believe it or not, that's Diana Stewart of the Stewart's Auto Group doing her push-up on top of her meeting table. Way to go, Diana!

The recently launched WTS (Water Tanks In Schools) Push-up Challenge is gathering steam.

According to co-conceptualiser of the challenge, Trisha Williams-Singh, after the first two weeks of the challenge (September 18), the account showed $219,000, almost half of the $500,000 targeted by the end of November. Numerous individuals and companies have done the challenge, most posting their videos and photographs on social-media sites, particularly Instagram. Some even photographed their deposit receipts from National Commercial Bank (NCB), proof that they were doing more than just 'talking the talk'.

Jamaica Yellow Pages and its staff came on board, pledging tanks for 14 schools, one in each parish. A video showed members of staff, led by Marketing Manager Tshani Jaja, going through their push-ups. True to their word, the team presented Williams-Singh with a list of 14 schools, spread across the island, for whom they have committed to provide tanks. The schools range from Church Hill Primary in Hanover in the west, to Johnson Mountain Primary in St Thomas in the east.

"We're making the arrangement to purchase the tanks this week and, hopefully, have them delivered next week," said Jaja.

Another popular company to join is Stewart's Automotive Group. With two of the group's senior executives - Duncan Stewart and Jacqueline Lechler - among them, members of the team, throughout the various divisions of the company, which include Mitsubishi Motors, Suzuki and BMW, have posted videos showing their physical prowess and big hearts. Combined, the group has raised upwards of $100,000.

Staff at telecommunications giant Flow, Creative Media and Events boss Garth Walker, popular entertainer Craig 'Leftside' Parkes, and the management and staff of Mandeville's OMG Restaurant have also done their part to raise funds and awareness of the situation facing many of the nation's schools. The WTS Push-up Challenge now has its own Instagram account, watertanksinschools, and has more than 400 followers. Persons interested in making donations can go to any NCB outlet islandwide, account number 371088881. Members of the diaspora who want to contribute can also access NCB swift code JNCBJMKX. The bank's address is 15 Northside Drive, Northside Plaza.

The push-up challenge was started by Williams-Singh and former Olympian Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn. Their action was prompted by news that nearly 300 schools would need assistance in accessing water this school year. To find out more about the WTS Push-up Challenge, check them out on Instagram, or contact thompson.trishak@gmail.com. Persons can also call Cuthbert's Fitness Studio, 6 South Avenue, 908-3444.