HomeNetballSunshine Girl Wilson gets timely boost after fire razes house

Sunshine Girl Wilson gets timely boost after fire razes house

Sunshine Girls netball player Latanya Wilson could hardly control her emotions after Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) and Mayberry Investment Limited said they will be donating a total of $1 million towards rebuilding her house which was gutted by fire last Thursday in Kingston.

The fire, suspected to be the work of arsonists, destroyed several homes along Rum Lane. Residents were said to have been awakened by loud explosions and discovered their dwellings on fire. Seven families, comprising adults and children, amounting to 30, lost their homes in the fire.

The announcement of the assistance for Wilson was made on Monday when members of the Sunshine Girls team, which won a bronze medal at the 2023 Netball World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa, made a courtesy call at the JOA headquarters.

Wilson, who said she was sleeping when the fire started, told the Jamaica Observer she is grateful for the assistance.

“I am very elated that Supreme Ventures, JOA and Mayberry Investments came on board to donate this $1 million. It is a start and I really appreciate it and I am hoping to see more sponsors coming on board as well,” said Wilson.

“It is a really big donation and I am really grateful and happy that they have come on board and donated in such an unfortunate time. This will definitely be a starting point in terms of getting us somewhere to live and eventually that will lift the mood of everyone,” Wilson stated.

The 22-year-old Wilson, who plies her trade for Adelaide Thunderbirds in the Suncorp Super Netball League in Australia, said she lost almost everything in the fire, including the bronze medal she won with the Sunshine Girls in South Africa.

Gary Peart, the executive chairman of SVL, said his organisation was very saddened by Wilson’s unfortunate situation, and now happy to be able to offer support.

“She was very surprised…she didn’t expect it. I think based on what she said, she is very appreciative. I know it must have been very tough and this is how we are trying to help somebody in need,” he said.

Peart also noted that plans are now afoot with a housing developer to assist with the rebuilding.

“There are conversations going on with a housing developer to assist her in rebuilding a house for her and there will be more details on that,” he said.

President of the JOA Christopher Samuda said his organisation quickly responded to news of the destruction.

“The JOA, as soon as we heard her plight, immediately reached out to our commercial partners SVL and Mayberry Investment to partner with us in renewing hope for her and her family,” said Samuda.

“It is not all about money or charity. It is a human response to another human being misfortune and that is the character of which the JOA is made.

“We are also in discussion with a developer and a financial institution to partner with us in providing a house for her where the family will once again make it a home, where sunshine will inspire the aspirations of our national sport ambassadors,” Samuda said.

“A million dollars is a reward for character and an acknowledgement of man’s humanity to man and an expression of the Olympic values of empathy and mutuality. We are rebuilding with her, her life, and the life of her family,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the JOA, SVL and Mayberry donated $1 million each to members of the Sunshine Girls who won the bronze medal at the Netball World Cup.

Head Coach Connie Francis is to get $2 million. The money will be paid into an investment account at Mayberry and will remain there three years or until the retirement of the player.

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