J. Wray & Nephew (JWN) Limited has struck a double deal with the RJRGLEANER Sports Foundation to host mentorship sessions for the nation’s youth, and deliver a special prize – the Joy Spence Appleton Estate Pioneering Award – at the yearly RJRGLEANER Sports Foundation Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Award. The wines and spirits company has been an event sponsor of the annual RJRGLEANER Sports Foundation Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards since its inception 57 years ago and JWN Chairman Clement Lawrence highlighted the initiatives during the event launch on Wednesday, November 28, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston. “I am happy to say that the RJR Foundation and the J. Wray & Nephew Foundation will be collaborating to host a mentoring session in 2019. This session will see an athlete or athletes sharing their experience with youngsters from the JWN communities, and in so doing inspire the next generation of leaders and nation-builders,” said Lawrence. The JWN Foundation is hugely involved in philanthropy and focuses largely on communities surrounding its business operations at Spanish Town Road in Kingston, Appleton Estate in St Elizabeth and New Yarmouth in Clarendon. Lawrence, who is also chairman of the JWN Foundation, highlighted its mantra of ‘transforming lives and communities for a better Jamaica’, under the pillars of education, social inclusion and culture. “Sports, although not specifically named, is integral to all three – our sports heroes often have personal stories of triumph over tremendous adversities; they often come to the fore via an educational institution; and without a doubt they become cultural icons,” he outlined. “J. Wray & Nephew recognises the fact that sports can teach lessons that are applicable to all aspects of life,” Lawrence added. The company’s upgraded sponsorship package also includes an award to the guest speaker, which is named in the honour of JWN’s world-renowned Master Blender, Joy Spence. Guest speakers have included prime ministers P.J. Patterson and Dr Keith Mitchell, as well as other notable and inspirational personalities, such as former men’s 400m hurdles world record holder, the United States’ Edwin Moses, Jamaica-born British Olympic gold medallist Tessa Sanderson, Jamaica-born US Olympic gold medallist, Sanya Richards-Ross, UWI Vice-Chancellor, Sir Hilary Beckles, former West Indies fast bowlers Courtney Walsh and Michael Holding, now international cricket coach and commentator, respectively, and Senator Don Wehby. Four men and eight women have been nominated for this year’s awards. They are (men) – Fedrick Dacres, Ronald Levy and O’Dayne Richards (track and field), and Chris Binnie (squash). The women are Alia Atkinson (swimming), Khadija Shaw (football), Stafanie Taylor (cricket) and track and field athetes Aisha Praught-Leer, Shanieka Ricketts, Kimberly Williams, Danniel Thomas-Dodd and Janieve Russell. There were four nominations for the People’s Choice Awards – Reggae Girlz (football), Brianna Williams (track and field), Nico Yeyo (boxing) and, AndrÈ Russell (cricket).