Mon | Mar 4, 2024

CB UWI 5K’s scholarship fund attracts thousands

Published:Sunday | December 3, 2023 | 12:13 AM
Thousands of patrons at the start of the CB UWI 5K Scholarship Fund Run/Walk and Smart Eggs Kids K last Sunday.
Contributed Thousands of patrons at the start of the CB UWI 5K Scholarship Fund Run/Walk and Smart Eggs Kids K last Sunday.

THOUSANDS OF patrons gathered at the head of the Ring Road at the UWI Mona Campus last Sunday for the start of the CB UWI 5K Scholarship Fund Run/Walk and Smart Eggs Kids K, to not only show their mettle at running and walking, but to support the academically brilliant students who wish to pursue tertiary education. The little ones were not to be left out as they ran and walked with their parents, some showing promise as future athletes.

The participants eagerly accepted the fair weather after days of torrential rains, through the event and the customary post-race activities, paced by Miss Kitty (who jokingly referred to her recent nuptials - “ I wonder if I should be ‘Mrs Kitty?” as she led the crowd through the celebrations and presentations, ably supported by Selector ZJ Rush and fitness expert Kurt Anthony Dunn of Body by Kurt.

UWI Mona Principal Professo Densil Williams, in addition to showing his lighter side as a ‘Drift’ dancer (aided by students) took time to congratulate the participants and all who supported the event, including co-patrons Douglas Orane, Thalia Lyn, Donnette Chin Loy Chang, Olympian Hansle Parchment and emcee Miss Kitty.

“What you have done here today is to help support national development by allowing needy students to realise the dream of furthering their education,” he told the gathering.

Francis emotional

Special honouree, netballer and coach Connie Francis told the gathering just how emotional she was at being named as the 2023 recipient (joining past awardees such as Asafa Powell, Glen Mills and Shericka Jackson).

“This means more to me than I can put into words” she said.

“As I go into the next phase of my life, I will take this with me as my motivation,” Francis said.

Francis was joined on stage by netball stalwarts, Molly Rhone and Janet Johnson, who were instrumental in her development, especially as a coach.

Finishing first in the Men’s Run was Garfield Gordon, of UCT Steppers, at 15 minutes, 17 seconds, roughly a minute ahead of Kemar Leslie, of the Rainforest Caribbean team at 16:19, with UWI Life Science student Noel Ellis rounding out the top three in a time of 16:50.

For the women, teenager, Wolmer’s Girls’ student, Janeail Henry, produced an extraordinary run to finish among the leader pack in 19:55 and first among the women runners, beating Isabella Allen, 22:02, and national athlete and UWI Sports Faculty student, Roneisha McGregor, who stopped the clock at 22:44

Joel Vaughn topped the male walkers, in 31:30, followed by Dane Lewis, 33:54, and Shavar Harrison, 34:36.

Paula Sinclair, at 32:38, capped a good day for UCT Steppers, finishing first in the female Walk category, followed by Julliette Reeves, 34:51, and DebbiAnn Wright, 35:15.

Rainforest Caribbean was adjudged best performing team overall, with sponsors CB Group fielding the largest delegation. Elsa Leo Rhynie Hall copped the Champion Hall award, triggering a wild, rousing celebration from the team members.

There were also impromptu deejay and dance performances during the post-race programme.