Saturday 24 August, 2019

Digicel Foundation launches 7th 5K Run/Walk

Elon Parkinson, Digicel's Regional Communications Manager (left) has the attention of (from left) Jean Lowrie-Chin, Chairman Digicel Jamaica Foundation; Alfred Francis, Managing Director Running Events Limited and Alando Terrelonge, state minister for Entertainment, Culture, Gender and Sport, at the launch of the seventh annual Digicel 5K Run/Walk for Special Needs at Digicel Headquarters in downtown Kingston on Friday. (PHOTO: Ramon Lindsay).

Elon Parkinson, Digicel's Regional Communications Manager (left) has the attention of (from left) Jean Lowrie-Chin, Chairman Digicel Jamaica Foundation; Alfred Francis, Managing Director Running Events Limited and Alando Terrelonge, state minister for Entertainment, Culture, Gender and Sport, at the launch of the seventh annual Digicel 5K Run/Walk for Special Needs at Digicel Headquarters in downtown Kingston on Friday. (PHOTO: Ramon Lindsay).

Digicel Foundation will host the seventh annual Digicel 5K Run/Walk for Special Needs on Saturday, October 6 and for this year's staging there will be a slight change to the route.

Plans for the 2018 staging were revealed on Friday during the launch at Digicel Headquarters in downtown Kingston.

Race director Alfred 'Frano' Francis of Running Events Limited announced at the launch that for the first time the race route will bypass West Parade, North Parade and East Parade.

The event, the first-ever night-run 5K,  will commence at the Digicel headquarters on 14 Ocean Boulevard, Kingston at 7:00 pm.  It will proceed west along Ocean Boulevard, then left onto Port Royal Street, around the bend onto Water Lane, right onto Pechon Street, then left onto Harbour Street, left onto King Street, right onto South Parade, right onto Church Street, then left onto Harbour Street, proceed easterly along Harbour Street across to lower South Camp Road around the Norman Manley Boulevard round-a-bout then right onto Port Royal Street, finishing at the intersection of Princess Street and Port Royal Street.

2018 launch of Digicel 5K Run/Walk for Special Needs

Participants are asked to take into consideration traffic changes. All roads leading to and from the race route  will be closed to vehicular traffic between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Francis said that water stops will be located at the start and finish lines, along with two on the route to ensure adequate hydration.

He also pointed out that qualified medical personnel will be on hand for first aid needs.  In addition, Francis said that adequate security will be provided on the route and at select parking lots.

Francis also asked participants to arrive at the staging area on Port Royal Street by 5:55 p.m. to avoid traffic congestion and for the pre-race aerobic warm-up.

The 2017 staging attracted over 10,000 participants last October and five special needs organisations received $1 million each from the proceeds. For this year, organisers are looking to better those figures.

Seven special needs organisations will benefit from funds raised in this year’s event. They are: Jamaica Association on Intellectual Disabilities, Early Stimulation Programme, Community Based Rehabilitation Jamaica, Jamaica Autism support Association, Jamaica Society for the Blind, Jamaica Down's Syndrome Foundation and Promise Learning Centre.

At Friday's launch, Justin Morin, CEO of Digicel Jamaica pledged $50,000 to the event.

Morin in a recorded message noted that "Digicel 5K run for Special Needs is a great way for all of us to show our special needs community that we care. I am inviting all of you to come down to our home in downtown Kingston on October 6 to have fun, run, walk -  all in the name of special needs. 

"So to show my support for this year's event I am happy to pledge $50,000 Jamaican dollars to this amazing cause and now I am calling out our Digicel ambassadors Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Tifa to accept this challenge, make a pledge and then pass it on."

Jean Lowrie-Chin, Chairman of Digicel Jamaica Foundation, also made a $50,000-pledge and said that "today's launch signals the continued commitment of Digicel Foundation to the special needs community." 

Since its inception in 2012, the 5K run/walk has raised over $41 million. 

Registration is open to all individuals and teams (corporate, clubs, church groups). The deadline for registration is Friday, September 28.

The entry fee are as follows:-
(a) Students $700
(b) Civil Servants $1000
(c) Early Birds $1200
(d) Regular $1500
(e) Teams over 50 $1200
(f) Preferred Start (for participants who want to start at the front) $2200

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