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  • The Ministry of Health has partnered with race organisers, Running Events Jamaica, to stage the inaugural Jamaica Moves/Welcome to Kingston 5K road race in downtown Kingston on Sunday, July 8.
  • The race, the first such being staged by the Ministry, is the concluding event of five in the 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.
  • Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon Christopher Tufton, launched the event during a ceremony at Liberty Hall in downtown Kingston, which houses the Marcus Garvey Museum.

The Ministry of Health has partnered with race organisers, Running Events Jamaica, to stage the inaugural Jamaica Moves/Welcome to Kingston 5K road race in downtown Kingston on Sunday, July 8.

The race, the first such being staged by the Ministry, is the concluding event of five in the 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.

Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon Christopher Tufton, launched the event during a ceremony at Liberty Hall in downtown Kingston, which houses the Marcus Garvey Museum.

The race will comprise 5K events for persons who want to run or walk, as well as those using strollers and in wheelchairs.

The route will take participants along a scenic journey in downtown Kingston that begins at the Ocean Boulevard/King Street intersection and culminates at Nethersole Place, adjacent to the Bank of Jamaica.

There will also 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.

The cost for registration is $1,500 for the run/walk, and $20,000 per team of six cyclists. Part proceeds will be used to fund Liberty Hall’s summer school programme, which runs from July 9 to August 6 for children seven to 17 years old, 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.

“We’re not only benefiting ourselves from the run (as participants), we’re also going to give back to community development in a health and wellness way,” Dr. Tufton said.

He argued that the race is a fitting tribute to Jamaica Moves and indicative that after one year, the initiative “has come into its own”.

The Minister expressed gratitude to the management of Running Events Jamaica, led by Director, Alfred “Franno” Francis, for organising the road race.

Dr. Tufton said it is also fitting that the event was launched at Liberty Hall, noting that the teachings and philosophy of National Hero, the Rt. Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey, and the life he led, along with the work being done at Liberty Hall, characterised by its mission and purpose of self-identity, self-worth and promoting wellness, are captured in the Jamaica Moves theme.

For his part, Mr. Francis, who is the Race Director, said the decision to stage the event in a section of downtown Kingston is aimed at exposing participants to “one of the most beautiful places” in the capital city, while expressing the hope that they will have an appreciation of the environment when they traverse the route.

Research Officer at Liberty Hall, Dr. Shani Roper, said the funding will assist in covering emoluments for the teachers who will be involved in this year’s summer programme.

She noted that they are students of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts and will benefit greatly from the valuable work experience afforded them.

Dr. Roper also said that the funding would cover presenters who will be sourced to introduce the children to issues relating to conflict resolution and safe use of the Internet and social media.

She also thanked the Ministry of Health, and Running Events “for investing in our programme as well as the children in the communities surrounding Liberty Hall”.

Executive Director of the Institute of Jamaica, of which Liberty Hall is a part, Vivian Crawford, also lauded the organisers of the Jamaica Moves/Welcome to Kingston 5K road race.

Persons can register for the Jamaica Moves/Welcome to Kingston 5K online at www.runningeventsja.com.

They can also download and fill out the registration form and drop it off at Running Events Jamaica’s office at 87-89 Tower Street, downtown Kingston.