Jamaican sprinter, Yohan Blake has established himself as one who tries help lift those in desperate need..
Several top athletes are known for their philanthropic work. The reasons are varied: some give for tax breaks; some give to keep in the fashionable giving crowd, while others give out of a genuine concern for others’ well being.
Jamaican sprinter, Yohan Blake has established himself as one who tries help lift those in desperate need.
In an interview with Loop News reporter Job Nelson, the passion in Blake’s giving was evident with every word uttered.
According to Blake, his giving comes from deep within. It is embolden by his own circumstances at an early stage in life, when his need were far superior to what his family could afford.
“The place that I am coming from is not so much of a gold spoon. It is about getting out of where you were, because you parents didn’t have it,” said the Christian athlete. “That’s what really drives me. I don’t like when people suffer, so I just like to go out there and put myself out there to help people.”
Well documented, is Blake’s athletic prowess. He established himself as being above the ordinary from his high school days at St. Jago, to now being the second fastest human being ever to run the 200 metres and the joint second fastest over the 100 metres.
Blake’s 19.26 seconds over the 200 metres, is only bettered by his compatriot and world record holder Usain Bolt’s 19.19. His 9.69 seconds in the 100 metres is the equalled by American Tyson Gay and Bolt, with only the latter again going faster over the distance. Bolt is also the world record holder in the 100 metres, with 9.58.
Those achievements, have set up Blake to be among the best paid athletes of his era, pulling in funds for his athletic ability, but a huge portion from sponsorship. His endorsements have come from of various commodities.
Through his YB Afraid Foundation as well as through the Food For The Poor, Blake has donated to the less fortunate.
It is an adrenalin rush for Blake, comparable to that which he gets while running, but it’s furnished with a more satisfying feeling.
His manager, Timothy Spencer interjected, "Yohan once told me, and it took me a little while to understand ‘when I run, I run for poor people’. If Yohan has $10,000 on him and 10 people ask him for $1,000, he will be going home without any money."
“It is always good to give back. It is just mutual for me. It is not about the joy for me as when God helps you, you just have to help a lot of people. It is just to know that someone is happy. Inside Blake said.
Apart from the two well-established YB Afraid Foundation and Food For The Poor organisation, Blake has assisted other individuals and organisations that call on his support for various reasons.
"If you help people, then people will help you. There are a lot of people who call me up and I help them. I have sponsored events like the Miami Classics and some (local) 5ks as well," Blake said.
Being a firm believer in God makes giving for him, even more divine.
"Being a Christian does help, because you have to be kind," Blake said. "I was a Christian at 12 years old, but sometimes you lose your way in the fast lane and you stop giving the praise that he deserves and he brings you to a level that you have to look back on your life and all that you have been doing,” he said.
"I guess I have woken up and seen that Yohan, you are for the people not for yourself," he said, while insisting that he is committed to a lifetime of giving.