Health Minister Says Upcoming Road Race Fitting Tribute to Kingston

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton (left), converses with Running Events Jamaica Director, Alfred ‘Franno’ Francis, during the recent launch of the inaugural Jamaica Moves/Welcome to Kingston 5K Road Race, at Liberty Hall, downtown Kingston.

Story Highlights

  • Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says the Ministry’s inaugural Jamaica Moves/Welcome to Kingston 5K Road Race, set for Sunday, July 8, is a fitting tribute to the capital city’s pivotal role in the country’s development.
  • The event, which will comprise 5km races for persons who want to run or walk, as well as those using strollers and who are in wheelchairs, will take participants along a scenic route in downtown Kingston that begins at the Ocean Boulevard/King Street intersection and culminates at Nethersole Place, adjacent to the Bank of Jamaica.
  • “Downtown Kingston is an amazing place. Oftentimes when we talk about it, we identify it with the negatives because, from time to time, you have a few flare-ups. But, frankly speaking, downtown Kingston has been, perhaps, the most significant contributor to all of Jamaica,” Dr. Tufton said.

Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says the Ministry’s inaugural Jamaica Moves/Welcome to Kingston 5K Road Race, set for Sunday, July 8, is a fitting tribute to the capital city’s pivotal role in the country’s development.

The event, which will comprise 5km races for persons who want to run or walk, as well as those using strollers and who are in wheelchairs, will take participants along a scenic route in downtown Kingston that begins at the Ocean Boulevard/King Street intersection and culminates at Nethersole Place, adjacent to the Bank of Jamaica.

“Downtown Kingston is an amazing place. Oftentimes when we talk about it, we identify it with the negatives because, from time to time, you have a few flare-ups. But, frankly speaking, downtown Kingston has been, perhaps, the most significant contributor to all of Jamaica,” Dr. Tufton said.

“There are many (facets represented in) downtown Kingston… the people, the way of life, the culture, the institutions and the history… that we need to play up a lot more to get Jamaicans to have a sense of appreciation for their history, in order to recommit themselves to their future,” he added.

The Minister was speaking at the recent launch of the road race at Liberty Hall, King Street, downtown Kingston.

Dr. Tufton said against the background of what Kingston represents, there is no better place to stage a Jamaica Moves event in the “context of a cultural diversity and a part of our history that will allow it to be a part of the fabric of our society”.

He cited the Coronation Market as one such example, noting that not many persons understand and appreciate its contribution to Jamaican life.

“It’s a very interesting place and probably the only place in Jamaica where every single parish is represented during those three or four days a week when people (go) there (to sell their produce),” the Minister said.

In this regard, Dr. Tufton contended that staging the road race in downtown Kingston is not only a fitting contribution to promoting health and wellness “but also to nest it in an environment that has so much to offer, and can offer so much more.”

The race is the concluding event of five in the Ministry’s 2018 Jamaica Moves Corporate Challenge, which got under way in April and engaged the staff of public- and private-sector entities in friendly performance-based competition.

In addition to the running and walking events, there will be a 28-kilometre cycle race that starts at the roundabout in close proximity to Harbour Street and takes participants to Port Royal and back. All events are slated to begin at 6:00 a.m., with warm-up sessions set for 5:30 a.m.

Part proceeds from the registration fees and sponsors’ donations will be used to fund Liberty Hall’s summer-school programme, which runs from July 9 to August 6 for children aged seven to 17, and to purchase blood pressure machines for several health centres.

They include the Comprehensive, Rollington Town, Windward Road, Seaview Gardens, Olympic Gardens, Glen Vincent and Maxfield Park Health Centres.

The event is being organised in collaboration with road-race organisers, Running Events Jamaica.

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