Sat | Jul 21, 2018

Ashenheims donate eight-lane track to JC

Published:Saturday | February 24, 2018 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Michael Ashenheim (left) is presented with a token of appreciation on behalf of Jamaica College by student and track team member Joel Paulwell yesterday. The presentation took place during a groundbreaking ceremony for an eight-lane synthetic track which has been donated to the school by the Ashenheim family. Minister of Education Ruel Reid (centre) looks on.

Wayne Robinson, principal of Jamaica College (JC), has expressed his gratitude to the Ashenheim family after they donated an eight-lane synthetic track, which is now under construction at the school's Old Hope Road base.

Robinson told The Gleaner following yesterday's groundbreaking ceremony that he is very delighted that the school will now have its own synthetic track to train on.

"It is really big because it was a dream for us," said Robinson. "We never knew we would be able to see it happen," he said. "It is special, it is historic, and it affords us the ability to provide a facility for our athletes at Jamaica College and people in our community.

"Words can't describe how grateful we are to the Ashenheim family. That one family has come and funded the complex is something special. They have left their names embedded in the history of Jamaica College, and we can't describe how grateful we are to them," Robinson said.

"Three generations of Ashenheims came to Jamaica College, and Richard Ashenheim is a national icon in sports," he said.

Michael Ashenheim, who is a past student of JC, made the donation on behalf of his family during yesterday's ceremony.

DEVELOPING ATHLETES

He said the new track will help to further develop the country's athletes.

"The family has been involved in track and field for a very long time because all of them were athletes," Ashenheim said. "When I was at JC, I was running on grass, and sometimes your foot slips. It is not the right surface, and nowadays, Jamaica College will never compete properly at Boys' Champs with a grass track," he said.

"These guys can't have the opportunity to compete at their best on a grass track, and so I was little embarrassed about this because KC and some of the other schools have one (synthetic track), " Ashenheim added. On completion, the track will be called the JC-Ashenheim Sports Complex.

Yesterday's groundbreaking ceremony was also attended by Member of Parliament for the area, Fayval Williams, and Minister of Education and former principal, Senator Ruel Reid.

The construction of the track, which is being undertaken by Jamaican company Pavecon, along with German Company BSW, is scheduled for completion in August.