Needy students at the University of the West Indies (UWI) are expected to benefit from the inaugural CB Group/UWI 5K Walk/Run.
The event, scheduled for November 18, is a legacy project supported by the Grand Jamaica Homecoming movement. The group, with co-patrons Ray Chang and Michael Lee-Chin, wants to reconnect the diaspora with the home country and find ways to improve Jamaica.
Honorary patron of the group's advisory council, Douglas Orane, said of the group's many legacy projects, this was the most important.
"It's about an institution we love and treasure which is the UWI Mona, and it's about our young people, those who are studying and also those who are in athletics," Orane said.
He said he felt this was the perfect event to reconnect with UWI alumni and to attract young people to the university.
"I have a personal objective to rekindle individual philanthropy in our country for people who have benefited from institutions to say, 'I've done well in life, it's my time to give forward to help others'," he said.
Speaking for the main sponsor, Matthew Lyn, CB Group's divisional manager, said the decision to sponsor the event was an easy one.
"We were floored. It wasn't whether or not we participated, it was just about how. When you look at what they're trying to achieve, when you look at the targets, looked at what it could be, it was simple," he said. Lyn encouraged other private-sector bodies to invest in education.
"Learning is not just in the classroom. It's not just theory and books. It's outside, through extra-curricular activity, through sports. And that's what we saw in this project."
Principal of the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, Professor Gordon Shirley, said the project would benefit a large number of students.
"But it's not just about our elite athletes. It's about getting our families, sporting enthusiasts, fitness buffs, students and friends to really engage in a dynamic process that will be fun," Shirley said.
He said the event would also bring the Mona board of sporting excellence into more focus, as it is already an important asset to Jamaican sport.
Olympic bronze medallist and UWI student Hansle Parchment, replying for the students, encouraged corporate entities to contribute and help UWI "continue to be a training ground for legends".
The walk-run route takes participants from the UWI Bowl, along John Golding Road, along the University Hospital Ring Road, the UWI Ring Road and back down to the university's sports complex.
CAPTION: Carlene Edwards (left), senior corporate communications manager, Supreme Ventures Limited, hands over a cheque for $500,000 to Professor Gordon Shirley (centre), pro-vice-chancellor and principal of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus, while Douglas Orane, patron of the Grand Jamaica Homecoming Advisory Council, looks on during the launch of the CB Group UWI 5K at the university yesterday. Supreme Ventures donation will go towards the 5K run. Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer