Kiwanis Club of Providence-Montego Bay main fund-raiser goes virtual for the first time

Observer West writer

Thursday, September 24, 2020

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MONTEGO BAY, St James -For the first time in its 11-year history, the Kiwanis Club of Providence-Montego Bay 5K/10K Run/Walk/Bike, which starts today and ends November 15, will be a virtual event.

Speaking at the media launch at Deja Resorts, situated along the Jimmy Cliff Boulevard in Montego Bay, St James on Tuesday, the organisers of the event said although they were forced to adapt to the virtual method, they were still hoping to get at least 1,000 participants.

According to Michelle Tulloch, co-chair of the organising committee, there will be run and walk races over 5K and 10K distances, as well as a 20K bike race, which was added this year.

The event, which is being held by the all-female club, helps to raise funds that are used to provide support to the Jamaica Cancer Society, Cornwall Regional Hospital and cancer patients across western Jamaica, disclosed club president- designate Kay Francis at the launch.

Race organiser Alan Beckford said the event will be “all-inclusive”, noting that it would accept para-athletes— those with physical disabilities such as amputations and Special Olympians with intellectual disabilities.

“With the COVID-19 protocols prohibiting large gatherings, virtual races can be contested by participants anywhere and anytime,” Beckford said, adding that “all they have to do is find an application on the Internet to measure their race and time, then upload it to the race result site where it will be recorded.”

He added that registered runners could enter as many of the races they chose, as long as they are paid up, and can also rerun the races to get better times, if they desire.

Tulloch, who said the club has “an ambitious target of 1,000 participants” for the virtual races after attracting as many as 2,000 for the 'physical races' last year, said they are hoping to attract participants from around the island and overseas, especially from the Kiwanis network.

She added that there will be a twice weekly virtual warm-up where participants can join to keep in shape.

Meanwhile, main sponsors of the event, Ward's Power Tools, reaffirmed its commitment to the initiative with a sponsorship cheque for $100,000.

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