‘Any effort to support students is welcome’ - says Chang of MoBay City Run
MONTEGO BAY (JIS):
Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Dr Horace Chang, has endorsed the third staging of the MoBay City Run, which is held annually to raise funds for needy tertiary students in western Jamaica.
Speaking during the recent launch at the St James Parish Council's chambers in Montego Bay, Chang said the event's goal is consistent with the Government's commitment to making tertiary education more accessible to students by providing them with financing options.
In noting that the Government's policy for training aims to ensure that young people are provided with a secondary education "without any significant cost", Chang said efforts by many students to access tertiary education often incurred "a major expense".
Against this background, Chang, who is the Member of Parliament for North Western St James - where the event will be staged - lauded the MoBay City Run's Organising Committee for its efforts over the past two years in assisting tertiary students experiencing financial challenges.
He noted that Montego Bay has a significant number of talented and academically brilliant youngsters, many of whom struggle to maintain their enrolment in tertiary institutions in western Jamaica, and encouraged corporate entities and other stakeholders to support the fundraising event.
"Any effort to support the students is welcome and will be supported by me both at the local and national (level) as an educated population is the most essential ingredient to developing our society," he stated.
He also said the MoBay City Run has the potential to boost Jamaica's foreign exchange earnings by broadening the range of tourism product offerings to international participants and fans of the event.
"This kind of activity does engage a significant number of visitors, and these marathons and athletics events have become part of the travel industry just like entertainment and food," the minister added.
Organising committee chairperson Janet Silvera hopes to raise in excess of $6 million to fund bursaries and scholarships to assist students attending the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the University of Technology (UTech) western campuses; Sam Sharpe Teachers' College; and Montego Bay Community College.
She said since MoBay City Run's first staging in 2014, approximately 100 students have benefited each year from the proceeds and added that the committee planned to double the number of beneficiaries this year.
Some 3,000 racers are expected to participate in the 5K and 10K run and walk events, set for Sunday, May 1.