Fri | Sep 21, 2018

'Specially motivated' - Craig Simpson lauds Charity Shoot after victory

Published:Monday | May 28, 2018 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Danzell Knight during the Skeet-shooting Clay Charity Competition that he organised to raise funds for the Jamaica Society for the Blind. The competition was held at the Jamaica Skeet Club in Portmore, St Catherine, yesterday.

You can do anything, Jamaican Society for the Blind Charity Shoot, overall champion, Craig Simpson said he was specially motivated for the event, being a father of a child with special needs.

Simpson, who shot an impressive 97 to take the title ahead of Shaun Barnes who scored 95 at the Jamaica Skeet Club yesterday, lauded young Danzell Knight for his initiative and pledged to support similar ventures in the future

"It (tournament) was awesome. I am proud of Danzell and this initiative. Targeting the special needs sector on his own is amazing and I am super proud to be champion of the event," he told The Gleaner.

"I was specially motivated, because I am father to a special needs child, so I am fully aware of the challenges you encounter with people with special needs. So any initiative to benefit the special needs sector, I am all for it," he said.

Knight, a student of the American International School of Kingston, had an objective of raising $500,000 with the tournament, to assist the Jamaica Society for the Blind, and he was overwhelmed by the support.

"The support is out of this world. The last two weekends have been sporting clay competitions, so to see how many people sacrificed their Sundays and came out to support this event, I am honestly flattered," he said.

Knight's inspiration for the event came from an uncle, who recently lost his sight, and went to the society to learn how to cope with his situation and regain his independence.

"When he was going to the society, I recognised how generous and great they treated them (the visually impaired), as a family and a community and it impacted me to plan this," he revealed.

With the support he got for the event, Knight is confident that the target was met. "We were looking for $500,000 and think we have not only reached, but have surpassed it," he stated.

Damian McLean, chairman for the Jamaica Society for the Blind, emphasised the importance of fundraisers to the Society and said Knight's initiative will be of great assistance.

"Fundraisers do a lot in terms of us conducting programmes. This one is towards bettering the plant, so we will refurbish the bathroom and do maintenance work. And we are grateful for the initiative from the young man, and we have to hail him for that," he said.

Meanwhile, Ray McMaster beat Nicholas Benjamin in the shoot-off for A Class after both ended on 93. The B Class and junior titles went to Roman Tavares-Finson (93), who became the youngest ever A class qualifier. Matthew Josephs (86) took C Class ahead of Knight (85). Wendy McMaster (80) won the D Class and ladies crown. The E class went to Toby Hugh. Damien Sawyers overcame Andrewain Smith in the shoot-off for the Hunters title. While Zaniel Knight (Danzell's brother), took the sub-junior section.