Sport

Sagicor's special sweet 16

Sigma Corporate Run targets $17m to save children, future

Sherdon Cowan

Wednesday, January 15, 2014    

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THE Caribbean's largest road race, the Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run, in its 16th anniversary, will be seeking to raise a target of over $17 million to assist children living with sickle cell across the length and breadth of Jamaica.

The event was launched at the Jamaica Pegasus yesterday.

This year's event will see funds raised going towards charities such as the Sickle Cell Unit at the University Hospital of the West Indies, Sickle Cell Trust in Mandeville, the Special Care Nursery at the University Hospital and Jamaica's Kidney Kids Foundation.

President and CEO of Sagicor Group Limited Richard Byles said that the Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run fosters fellowship and camaraderie amongst corporate Jamaica, and is one of the highlights of their year. It takes a lot of effort and teamwork to pull off a road race of this magnitude, but in the end, it gives the organising committee and team members great pride to make a positive contribution to the lives of our nation's children.

"When I came earlier and I met David (a beneficiary of Jamaica's Kidney Kids Foundation), I said to myself this is what it is all about, a wonderful little kid, and I know we are all happy to tend to David and kids like him. I thank you all, we really appreciate your support, all the sponsors...it warms our heart as it makes us able to help kids like David."

Donovan Perkins, president and CEO of Sagicor Investments Jamaica, also speaking at the launch, said it is always a pleasure to be a part of charities for children, as they will one day be the future of the country. "We are once again happy to partner with corporate Jamaica and other well-wishers raising funds to protect our young kids. Jamaica's recovery lies not only in the growth of our economy, it also lies in the hands of these little kids who we are trying to protect and the good that they will do tomorrow when they take over from us."

He added that the Sigma Run has grown tremendously since its initial staging in 1999. Last year the event had 20,501 participants and raised over $16 million for the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Best Care Foundation and the National Children's home.

"Since 1999 many health and child related organisations across Jamaica have benefited from this run, every year 100 per cent of the proceeds goes to the main beneficiaries. The Sigma Run has raised over $118 million since its inception. Every year that figure has grown, and I personally would love to see it get up to $300 million by 2020 and with the continued support we will meet that target," he added.

This year's meet will run under the patronage of three of Jamaica's most outstanding and well-rounded women -- Her Excellency Lady Patricia Allen, World and Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Jamaica's voice Tessanne Chin, who lent their image and voices to the proceedings.

The race director will be Alfred 'Frano' Francis, who is recovering from a recent illness.

"Come February 16, I couldn't find myself no place else but at this prestigious event. I also encourage those who want to participate to register early," he said.

The Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run will take place on Sunday, February 16, starting at the Sagicor headquarters on Knutsford Boulevard. Registration fee is $1,000.

New sponsors Appliance Traders Limited (ATL) will be hosting a warm-up event on February 8 at Hope Gardens commencing at 8:00 am. Contribution is $500 and all proceeds collected will go to the mentioned beneficiaries.

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