Sport

Swallowfield Transformational Oasis to benefit from 5K Run/Walk

BY RUDDY ALLEN OBSERVER RACING WRITER

Thursday, September 04, 2014    

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All proceeds from the 2014 staging of the inaugural Swallowfield Transformational 5K Run/Walk will go towards the Swallowfield Transformational Oasis, it was announced yesterday.

The Swallowfield Transformational Oasis, which is a hub, will serve the holistic needs of the Swallowfield Chapel and vulnerable communities of Swallowfield, Nannyville Gardens and beyond through the provision of, among other things, educational, vocational and skills training, counselling/mediation, sporting and recreational facilities.

The Oasis is set to change lives and quench the thirst for social, spiritual, physical and educational empowerment, especially that of the youth of Jamaica.

The event, which is endorsed by Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and their coach Glen Mills, is scheduled for October 18, starting at 6:30 am at the National Stadium main gate.

Entry fee is $1,000 per person, while groups will get a discount. Registration started yesterday and will close on October 13.

Speaking at the launch at the Swallowfield Chapel in Kingston, yesterday, Pastor David Henry, a member of the event's planning team, said that the main aim for the 5K Run/Walk is to build and transform surrounding communities.

"Our community has a mix of low and middle-income housing areas, business, and a dense inner city with significant spiritual, socio-economic and other needs. These include poor housing, and other inadequate physical infrastructure. We suffer the scourge of crime and violence, low literacy and standards of education, high unemployment and deficiencies in training, social and employability skills," he said.

"There have been points of celebration as our community residents have accomplished great things; however, amidst this we have sadly witnessed our community depreciating spiritually, socially and economically. We, however, believe in the people of our community, God's people and our God and therefore are committed to our community and have a vision for its transformation, as the vision is to be a community of believers of the Lord Jesus Christ growing in loving relationship with God and each other and in loving service making disciples of the nations," Henry added.

He said that with the ministry serving the needs of the children, youth, adults, families, leaders, communities and the nations through programmes, such as Youth Reaching Youth (YRY), skills training and development, soup kitchen and food distribution, learning centre, boys' and girls' clubs and health fair, it will surely transform the nation.

"We envision therefore out of the Oasis the training and development of skilled workers, employment opportunities created, mediation, parenting, social and other life skills learned. We see families strengthened and reduction in crime and violence. We see the class divides between uptown and downtown shattered as we share together in common space and activities," said Henry.

"We see the talents, innovative ideas and the creative arts nurtured for the enrichment of our society and so I encourage all to come out and run and walk with us and contribute towards the building of our communities and transformation of our beloved Jamaica," he ended.

Event director, Olympian Grace Jackson, gave an overview of the event routes and thanked all sponsors for their support in the 5K Run/Walk.

"It is a pleasure for me to be here, as this event is for a worthy cause in building our nation, moreover the youth of the future.

"The starting point of the race will be at the National Stadium main gate. We will then make our way up Mountain View Avenue and take a left turn onto Seaview Avenue. We will then take the next left, which will bring us onto Lady Musgrave Road, take a left turn onto Old Hope Road, left again onto Tom Redcam Drive, another left onto Arthur Wint Drive, left again onto North Avenue, which we will take the final left turn onto Swallowfield Road and end the race at 9 Swallowfield Road," she explained

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