Olympic hero, Usain Bolt, inspired 11-year-old Cya Layne to share her thoughts about the 2012 Olympics and her hopes and dreams for him five months before the global event.
Her letter was adjudged the winning entry in the 2012 National Letter Writing Contest, for which writers were asked to: “Write a letter to an athlete or sports figure you admire to explain what the Olympic Games mean to you.”
Layne, who is now a first form student at Harrison College, was presented with her prizes at a ceremony in the Conference Room of the General Post Office recently.
On hand to congratulate the winners was Acting Postmaster General, Dorcas Scantlebury, and other members of the management team. In her remarks, Scantlebury noted that Barbados has done remarkably well in the global competition since 2005 when the Barbados Postal Service submitted its first entry.
Over the ensuing years, a Barbadian entry received an Honourable Mention (fifth place) in 2007, another placed third in 2010 and last year’s entry (2011) was a joint winner for the first prize.
The acting postmaster general said that the Post Office “is happy to provide this opportunity for our qualifying young people to shine on the global stage”.
“It is a matter of tremendous prestige… It gives the competitors an opportunity to explore themes which are of interest globally, but that have an impact on our nation.
“It allows them to test their ideas and thoughts, setting them out in writing, and have them evaluated at the highest levels. By this, we know that even (as) a small island developing state, we are capable of competing globally,” Scantlebury continued.
Zera Yaicob, of the Rock Christian Primary School, placed second with another letter paying tribute to the Jamaican Olympian, Bolt, while Hope Thomas, now a student at the Springer Memorial School, was third. With Hope, home drums beat first for she dedicated her letter to national hurdler, Ryan Brathwaite.
At the prize-giving ceremony, the winners received their trophies and Cave Shepherd gift certificates, sponsored by the BPS.
The competition is organised annually to encourage school children to develop their writing and research skills. This year, the international winner was Marios Chatzidimou of Greece, who chose to write to world renowned tennis ace, Roger Feder.
Placing second was Valentine Chimba of Kenya, while there was a third-place tie between the Ukraine’s Alyona Kuchinskaya and Chelsea Mangarro of Trinidad & Tobago.
For the 2013 competition, the young letter writers are asked to “write a letter about why water is precious” and submit them to the Marketing Department not later than February 8, 2013.