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A glittering evening for Team Jamaica at The Great Hall

A glittering evening for Team Jamaica at The Great Hall

Celebrities and household names gathered for a star-studded fundraising dinner and auction.

Sports memorabilia signed by Jamaican athletic legend Usain Bolt and three world champion sprinters raised £10,600 at a fundraising dinner and auction at the University of Birmingham.

A signed shirt from 100m and 200m world-record holder Usain Bolt was the star attraction at the auction along with team shirts signed by Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce – who won her fifth 100m title at the World Athletics Championships in America last week – and sprinting sensations Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shericka Jackson.

Other items included a bronze hand sculpture from renowned artist Basil Watson and a holiday to Jamaica courtesy of the Jamaica Tourist Board and H10 Hotels.

The Jamaica National Group, a financial services conglomerate based in Jamaica, collaborated with the University of Birmingham and the Jamaica Commonwealth Association to host the fundraising dinner and auction.

Two-time heptathlon Commonwealth Games champion Denise Lewis and former 400m Great Britain sprinter Donna Fraser were among the 160 people who attended the dinner which coincided with Jamaica’s 60th Independence Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

British Olympic and World Championship medallist and broadcaster Colin Jackson was the master of ceremonies at the special dinner which included a menu specially created by Shaun Craig, Associate Director of Culinary & Development at the University of Birmingham, with help from celebrity chef, musician and businessman Levi Roots.

Shaun said it had been a privilege to work with Levi on creating a bespoke menu for the dinner which included Pulled Jackfruit Potato Cake, Caribbean Griddled Eggplant and Jamaican Rum Cake.

He said: “I have a lot of Jamaican friends within the industry so I chatted to them for ideas and I also spoke with Levi Roots and put his influence into the menu.

“It was all Jamaican-based food with a bit of a twist. Levi helped me come up with Regganaise which is half mayonnaise and half Reggae Reggae sauce but that’s Levi’s idea not mine so I can’t take the credit for that!

“The organisers wanted a bit of input from Levi and I had a few calls with him and we adjusted the menu to what he thought would be suitable for the Jamaican sports teams. He is a character and great to work with.

“The Team Jamaica athletes are being hosted at the University, and we have tried to be as authentic as we can.”

jamaican menu at university of birmingham
The menu was designed with help from TV chef Levi Roots.

Paulette Simpson CBE, Deputy Managing Director for JN Bank UK, said: “The Jamaica National Group has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the University of Birmingham over the years, and this event promises to make the partnership even stronger by way of collaborating on student scholarships and bursaries. As an organisation with strong ties in the Diaspora, we remain committed to supporting Jamaicans at home, and abroad.“


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