It’s not such a big secret to most that I am not such a huge fan of athletics. I always feel like there are better uses of people’s times than to be running up and down a field in tights and be subjected to public scrutiny should you not reach the finish line in record time. It is even worse for those who are forced to watch it, whether on television or on the sidelines.  But I must also reluctantly admit that it does seem to rally a nation to momentarily forget economic hardships or even talks of IMF  – and Usain Bolt for what he has done for Brand Jamaica.

So when I was invited to the UWI 5K press launch, I happily accepted as it actually supports some of my own pet projects – helping out students, institutions that teach young minds, and corporates who look beyond their profit margins and do good for the society around them.

One of UWI’s strategic sponsorships is the Caribbean Broilers sponsored UWI 5K Run/Walk – a world standard running event open to teams of alumni, students, and people representing the corporate and public sectors alike. Since 2012, the CB/UWI 5K has hosted more than nine thousand participants coming from all across the diaspora underscoring its commitment to both fitness and community building. At every race, people come together in pursuit of fun, fitness, and friendly competition.  But the importance of the event goes beyond the 5K course; a portion of each entrant’s registration fee is donated to UWI students. Today at the press launch it was made known that to date they have raised over $38 million and provided over 75 students with scholarships.  The original CB/UWI 5K run/walk has now been expanded to include a kids Smart Eggs race. The race will be Sunday November 15 starting at 7am. 

Other sponsors include Island Grill, The Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, National Continental Bakery, Port Authority of Jamaica, and the Jamaica Observer. In addition to a cheque presentation by the sponsors, the scholarship recipients were also present with UWI officials, sponsors and the diplomatic corp.