THE organisers of the second annual CB Group UWI 5K Run/Walk expect another profitable staging of the event, which gets underway at 7:00 am on November 17 at the Mona Bowl.
Alfred Francis, race director of the 5K, said the event has success written all over it.
"We will have the run and walk and the wheelchair categories and there'll be prizes for the various categories. This will be successful because of all the support from alumni and present-day students and how well it is put together. This is a wonderful cause and we will achieve a lot or even more than we did last year," Francis told the Jamaica Observer at Thursday's launch at the University of the West Indies Usain Bolt Track.
Registration for the event opens on October 28 and closes on November 8.
New floodlights will be installed at the UWI Mona Bowl to allow night-time training for participants ahead of the event.
Last year's 5K, which brought out over 2500 participants, raked in $18 million and was the biggest fund-raiser for the UWI Mona Campus in 2012. The money facilitated 20 academic and sports scholarships for first and second-year students.
Rashid Hall, marketing and scholarships officer at UWI, outlined the objectives of the event.
"This aims to develop scholarships and raise funds for the university and to help to push the sports programmes here. It's an effort to also allow alumni from the university to come back and participate.
"We raised 18 million last time and we are trying to improve this year to get work done in terms of lighting so you can see where the money is being spent. This is making a big difference in the lives of students and also in sports development at UWI," Hall said.
He also hailed UWI principal Archibald McDonald, Minna Israel of the UWI Mona School of Business, GraceKennedy Group chair Douglas Orane and others for their "excellent" support.
The main sponsors are Caribbean Broilers, who are in the second of a three-year deal worth $9 million.
Matthew Lyn, the CEO of the CB Group, said his company is "committed to this event" and wants to contribute to improving the nation's "education system at all levels".
Alicia Bogues, brand manager of CB Chicken, said staff members have been significant in supporting the 5K Run/Walk.
"We have signed on a minimum 200 members of our staff. We have been partners since last year and we remain committed... in this deal worth $3 million per year. Everything in life we want to be balanced, and sports and education are important," she said.
Other sponsors of the Walk/Run are National Baking Company, Scotiabank, Island Grill, RJR Communications Group and Dunlop Corbin.
A sidebar to the 2013 event — to be held on the same day — is the Kid 2K for children aged 7-14.
This year the Jamaica Olympic Association president Michael Fennell will be honoured. The 2012 honoree was Glen Mills, the head coach of Racers Track Club.
Co-patrons of the event are Orane and Chancellor Emeritus, Ryerson University Raymond Chang.