World Champion gold medallist in the 110m hurdles, Ryan??Brathwaite,??accepting a plaque designed in his honour by artist Don Small during a ceremony in Church Gap, Hillaby, St. Andrew. The plaque will be donated to the Lester Vaughan Secondary School.

World Champion hurdler and gold medallist, Ryan Brathwaite, now has a mural and plaque in his honour.

These were two lasting tributes made for the Barbadian star athlete and unveiled during a ceremony last Saturday in Church Gap, Hillaby, St. Andrew, by the Williams Group of Industries. The mural was designed by artist Don Small.

Acting Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner addressed the presentation ceremony and advised Ryan to maintain his current mind-set and supreme confidence, eliminate all distractions, and to stay focused.

"With the love of your community behind you and the support of your family, including your parents, you will be the champion in London and that love will continue to follow you," the Senator contended.

Mrs. Sandiford-Garner highlighted the sterling efforts of the Hillaby committees in making the home-coming a memorable one. She explained that she was able to "fast-track" whatever they needed, "so that the community and Government celebrations could come together as one".

"Ryan this community … has shown you incredible love and I would wish that wherever you go from here on, and whatever you do, you remember what the grassroots did for you in the week you were at home," she underlined.

The Acting Minister of Sports encouraged established governmental and non-governmental agencies to support community groups, wherever they were and however they were formed.

"I would wish the people of Barbados, especially the decision-makers to understand, that communities keep this country together. And, what this experience has taught me is that Hillaby is… a cohesive community," the Acting Sports Minister said.

She told the gathering that government had established a Cultural Action Fund, to assist persons in making their projects successful. "The money is there for you to access it, all you need to do is set up a formal structure so that government knows who they will contact, and they will have it done," the Acting Sports Minister advised.

In turn, Barbados’ newly appointed Sports Ambassador, Ryan Brathwaite, thanked residents of St. Andrew for coming together to give him their support. He also expressed his appreciation to artist Don Small for painting the mural to mark his achievements and for the gift of a plaque.

Ambassador Brathwaite said he was delighted and shocked at the outpouring of love and support and stated he would continue to strive for excellence in his chosen field and to obtain other gold medals.

The star athlete pointed out that all efforts in his honour would not only redound to his benefit, but would have a positive effect, by extension, on the residents of Hillaby in St. Andrew and tourism in Barbados in general.

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