Prestige driven to buy Bolt’s shoes

The Usain Bolt training shoes that
were being auctioned to raise money to help the Haiti CARIFTA track team were
sold for over $1,000.

Danny O’Hara, the owner of Prestige
Motors, outbid all others for Bolt’s autographed Puma track shoes after submitting
a winning bid two weeks ago during a live on air broadcast on Rooster 101.9FM.

Sports minister Mark Scotland and
Cayman Islands Athletics Association president and CARIFTA chairman Rayle
Roberts were also on the broadcast.

They joined Austin Harris and
Gilbert McLean for a final wrap up of the CARIFTA games before presenting the
auctioned shoes to O’Hara.

Bolt is the triple Olympic
champion, world champion and world record holder in the 100 and 200 metres. He
is also a former CARIFTA champion.

Bolt donated the autographed track
shoes to the local organising committee of the 2010 CARIFTA Games for an on air
and online auction. The funds went towards offsetting the costs of the Haitian
athletic team’s participation at the CARIFTA Games at the Truman Bodden Sports
Complex over the Easter weekend.

“Usain’s shoes will be a part of
our display at Prestige Motors, and they will make a fantastic addition to our
brand new building,” said O’Hara.

“The CARIFTA Games were great, and
the Cayman Islands should be awarded a gold medal for a job well done.”

“The Cayman Islands is poised for
sports tourism. We have a good safe community, as well as the natural beauty of
our Islands,” said Scotland. “In addition to CARIFTA, we boast a large number
of sporting events and we have done very well.”

Scotland also mentioned the success
of the NORCECA beach volleyball tournament, the sailing club hosting the Olympic
Youth qualifiers and the Cayman Open squash tournament as examples of recent
big event successes.

He added: “The discussion is still very
vibrant about CARIFTA and track and field in general, and this government will
continue to put its full support behind the programme.”

Roberts said: “I want to publicly
thank everyone who was involved with CARIFTA 2010. We are grateful for the
support from our Government as well as the local and regional support that we
have received.”

He also noted that with proper
funding, Cayman will continue to produce world-class athletes.

“Our facilities are great, but it
is also about getting coaches together because we have the talent, and we
simply need to identify the next generation of athletes.”

Roberts is a former CARIFTA
competitor. He said that his biggest hurdle towards a successful youth
development programme is funding. “With the necessary funds, I hope to do
bigger and better things. Track and field is not just about all the gold
medals; it is also about building excellent citizens.”

added: “We need to continue to develop youngsters from an early age, and we
want to encourage our youth to get out there and get active.”