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Ambassador Derrick Denniser!

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FOR years Derrick “Shastri” Dennisser brought joy to football lovers across the island with a silky smooth skill that saw him being dubbed Jamaica’s “Coolie Pele”.

From his early days at Kingston College (KC), where he was once acclaimed as the best player in the Corporate Area schoolboy competition, the Manning Cup, to his time at Boy’s Town and in the national team Shastri was as skilful as he was deadly in front of goal.

He attended KC from 1964 to 1972 and played on the Manning Cup team from 1967 to 1971, winning the competition twice (1967 & 1970). During that time Shastri also played for the south St Andrew-based Boy’s Town Football Club before being called to the senior national team.

“Actually I played football for Jamaica’s senior team while attending high school. There were weeks when I played a Manning Cup game, a Division One game, and while there were not many national games at that time, I toured twice with the Jamaica amateur team to the Pan American Games in Colombia and Mexico between 1970 and 1974,” Shastri told the Jamaica Observer in an interview last week.

“It was very hectic, but then I was deemed a disciplined player. I never got into a lot of the wayward behaviour as some others.

“In fact, there was an instance when the Jamaica team went on a tour and all sorts of misdemeanours took place. When the tour ended and the manager submitted his report, I was the only player not sanctioned. All the other players were given bans ranging from life, to years, to months and this helped to establish my reputation as a person of good character,” added Shastri.

After hanging up his boots, Shastri moved into corporate Jamaica while serving as a football analyst of radio and television.

Today he has transitioned to the brand ambassador for Intrust, a nutritional drink being introduced to the Jamaican market by Qualcare Limited, a primarily pharmaceutical company, which also distributes some consumer products.

“With the Government’s push to cut back on sugary drinks to reduce the rising tide of obesity in the nation’s children, we think this is a very good product to introduce to teenagers in particular in our schools,” said Shastri.

“We have been making donations of the product to athletes in particular, but we want to get it into the schools. The Government has asked us to give them some time so that they can do the research to see if it can be introduced to the wider population.

“The athletes already say they are okay in having it because they burn the calories and it supplements their nutritional needs. For those persons who are not athletic, but who are on the go and who don’t have time for a proper meal, this will suffice as an adequate meal replacement,” he added.

Already students at a number of schools, including KC, Manning’s and Hydel, have received donations of Intrust, while a student of Jamaica College who had medical challenges was also given a package from Qualcare.

“Ultimately we want to sell the product and make a profit but the platform for that is to get the quality accepted and the product trusted by Jamaicans,” said Shastri.

He noted that Intrust is made in the United States by one of the major manufacturers of nutritional products and it has repeatedly come out on top in blind tests against similar products.

“As brand ambassador for Intrust I am staking my reputation, integrity and character on this product,” said the man who accepted the moniker “Coolie Pele” as a term of endearment and not a racial slur as some person argued it was.

“I would not want to deceive anybody by saying drink Intrust and you will become a champion. If you drink Intrust and you do not put in the work then it will not help you.

“But if you put in the work, with the proper nutrition, the proper mental attitude during training, following the coach’s instructions, Intrust will give you a good chance to succeed,” declared Shastri.

Intrust is available at most major supermarkets and pharmacies across the island.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive

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