Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer
The organisers of the 15th staging of the Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run are aiming to raise $16 million and attract a maximum of 20,000 participants for the 5K run set for Sunday, February 17 in New Kingston.
"We are targeting 20,000 persons, up from 16,000 last year in order to raise about $16 million for the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Best Care Lodge and Jamaica National Children's Home," race director Alfred 'Frano' Francis disclosed at the press launch at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston yesterday.
"It (the event) has grown stronger and stronger as time evolved. We are confident that within the next 15 years the Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run will remain as the benchmark for Corporate Road Race fund-raisers in the Caribbean," Francis added.
"This year will be an exciting one as we are staging a re-branding. However, we'll have certain elements that will not change. The fun, good vibe and corporate competitive camaraderie will remain. The execution of the event to exacting standard will also remain. The focus in raising funds to help children will remain as well," Francis, a veteran road race director added. "The event is set to start promptly at 7:30 a.m. outside the Sagicor building on Knutsford Boulevard and end at Emancipation Park."
Registration for the event opened on January 2 and is set to end on February 1.
Donovan Perkins, president and CEO of Sagicor Investments Jamaica Ltd, in his address to the gathering, said: "I want to especially welcome our many sponsors. Our Sigma Corporate Run, would not have grown to become such a powerful force for good without your support ... and I appreciate the ongoing healthy partnerships that we have established over the past 14 years."
Bigger and better
He also thanked the media for the role they have played in making the Sagicor Corporate Run, bigger and better each year.
"Previously, the event was known as the PanCaribbean Sigma Corporate Run, but having re-branded last December to better align our banking division with our parent company Sagicor, there is a change," he added.
The first Sigma Corporate Run began in downtown Kingston in 1999 and raised $500,000 for the Jamaica Foundation for Cardiac Disease, with 297 participants that year. Since then, the event has grown tremendously.
Over the last 14 years various health and child-related charities have benefited from the Sigma Run.
This year, the event will be under the patronage of Her Excellency Lady Allen and Olympic sprint champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
The Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run sponsors in the gold category are: The Gleaner Company, RJR Communications Group, Catherine's Peak, Pepsi, Digicel, eMedia Interactive and National Baking Company. The silver sponsors include King Alarm, Advertising and Marketing, Stewart's Automobile Group, Nestlé Jamaica and Wisynco, while the sponsor in the bronze category is National Outdoor Advertising.
The event's partners are the National Health Fund and Reggae Marathon. Jamdammers Running Club heads the list of volunteers along with Sports Medicine Association, Sagicor Team Scouts and the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association.