Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
The fraternity at the William Knibb Memorial High School in Trelawny is basking in the well-needed gift of a new Coaster bus, donated by their most famous past student, Usain St Leo Bolt, who handed over the key to the vehicle at a ceremony on the school grounds yesterday.
The triple world record holder was at home among his many former teachers and adulation from the current student body, who screamed, shouted and jostled to snap a photo of the living legend who, along with his parents - Wellesley and Jennifer Bolt - cut the ribbon to officially hand over the bus to principal, Dr Mark Nicely.
"I have always given back to William Knibb. For me, it's a wonderful time to be here to give something back to my school. You know this is where it all started for me, so I am happy to be doing this," Bolt offered.
The double 100m, 200m and 4x100m Olympic champion did not elaborate on pending projects, but noted that some are in the negotiating stages, while others, such as plans for a community centre in his hometown of Sherwood Content, Trelawny, will soon be made public.
"The project at the community centre in Sherwood Content is soon to get off the ground. My team is still sorting things out where that is concerned, but definitely we're going to do a lot of work in the community."
He added: "We are in discussion on the budget for that right now, but we are serious about the project and soon the community will see what work we're putting in."
Bolt, in his inimitable style, spoke candidly about his time at the school, recounting days when he was not the greatest sprinter the world has ever known, but days when he was just a normal child, playing pranks, joking around, being pinched by his teacher for not paying attention in class, and being scolded at school by his dad before being rescued by another teacher.
"I remember those days here at William Knibb as fun, but I still had to work hard in class and on the field, for which I thank Mr Norman Peart, who helped me with my bookwork, and that has further helped me pass my external examinations (CXCs)," Bolt said.
A grateful Nicely said the bus will greatly assist with the movement of students.
"We here at William Knibb are immensely grateful for this gesture from Usain. This bus will help us in many ways," Nicely said.
With the 2013 World Champion-ships slated for Moscow, Russia, less than a year away, preparations, according to Bolt, will be ramped up accordingly.
"Right now I am in training. It's okay, but it has been just one month into that. I am working my hardest right now and will be ready when the time comes."
Full Caption: Sprint double world record holder Usain Bolt (right) hugs his mom, Jennifer Bolt, as they cut the ribbon along with his father, Wellesley, to mark the handover of a new school bus to his alma mater, William Knibb Memorial High. The track superstar handed over the key to the vehicle at a ceremony at the school yesterday. The handover party also included principal, Dr Mark Nicely (second left), and the Reverend Everton Jackson, school chairman. - photo by Paul Clarke