Western News

MoBay City Run nears $20 million scholarship target

Thursday, September 27, 2018

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — The organisers of the annual MoBay City Run has this year awarded scholarships valued at $4.5 million to students of some secondary and tertiary institutions in the city of Montego Bay, bringing its total education assistance from the event to $19.5 million over the five years of its existence.

The total sum is just $500,000 shy of the target of the $20 million the organisers had set.

The most recent cohort of students and representatives of the institutions were presented with the scholarship funds at a presentation event held at Sandals Montego Bay last week Wednesday.

Approximately 2,000 students have received scholarships from the event since its inception.

Guest speaker at the presentation ceremony, deputy chairman of Sandals Resorts International, Adam Stewart, said the MoBay City Run, which takes place in early May each year, is an important contributor to the economy of the resort city.

“Not only are people participating from Montego Bay, but people are coming from all over Jamaica and even overseas to participate. So the whole economic contribution and economic footprint of what it is doing for the city of Montego Bay is much more than what meets the eye,” he said.

He pointed to what he said are the spin-off benefits for food vendors, craft vendors and hotels.

“All of the business activities celebrate and win when something like this is happening,” Stewart noted.

Himself a marathon runner, the businessman, who resides in Montego Bay, also spoke of the health benefits of participation in events such as the MoBay City Run, noting that many leading business people engage in similar cardiovascular exercises to gain clarity of thought and overall good health.

He suggested that economic productivity could increase in Jamaica if more members of the workforce engage in such physical activities.

In committing Sandals to continued and increased participation in future staging of the event, Stewart commended the organisers for positively impacting the country's educational and economic landscape, while pointing out that only 15 per cent of Jamaica's workforce have completed tertiary education. Stewart declared that “we are a country that is rising up to achieve higher goals”.

“We are a progressive country and a sophisticated society beyond just agriculture of yesteryears, and without a strong workforce and educational base, we will never achieve that,” he argued.

Meanwhile, the organisers of the MoBay City Run say the success to date is the result of growing public support and the consistent support of sponsors. The event's major donors have been collaborating sponsor Jet Blue, whose contribution is approximately $7 million in airline tickets over the five years; Courts Jamaica, with a contribution of $5 million; Sandals Resorts, which has given $3.5 million, while Montego Bay-headquartered Billy Craig Insurance has provided insurance coverage for the event since its inception.

This year's recipients attend Montego Bay-based institutions, including: Montego Bay Community College, Sam Sharpe Teachers' College and the University of the West Indies Mona, Western Jamaica Campus. A cheque for $500,000 was also presented to Mount Alvernia High School to assist with physical repairs to the school.

Chairman of the organising committee Janet Silvera urged recipients of the scholarships to give back to society and to volunteer to make the marathon more successful in the future.

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