Georgetown, Guyana – (May 22, 2016) First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, early this morning, opened the five and 10 kilometres Jubilee Road Race hosted by the Athletics Association of Guyana in collaboration with the Ex-Athletes group, which is based in the United States of America.
The five kilometres race featured runners under 16 years of age and the 10 kilometres featured those between the ages of 16 and 20 years.
Mrs. Granger, who was warmly received by the participants, sponsors and organisers, fired off the starting shot for the senior runners at the junction of Carifesta Avenue and Camp Street and for the junior runners near the entrance of the National Park on Carifesta Avenue. Both races ended at the entrance to the Guyana National Service Sports Ground, also on Carifesta Avenue.
Mr. David Thomas, one of the overseas-based sponsors said the group members were pleased “to give back” and are considering a number of other ways to provide further assistance to the youth.
First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger meets one of the US-based sponsors of the 5k and 10 k Jubilee Road Race, Mr. David Thomas.
“We would like to be able to get assistance for the athletes, coaches and technical officials. We would like to help them to be exposed to international events… to set goals so that they recognise [the value] of athletics and academics in becoming a rounded person,” Mr. Thomas said.
He also noted that providing the opportunity for the athletes to showcase their talent internationally may result in them being offered scholarships, further helping them to become productive citizens.
Meanwhile, member of the Ex-Athletes group and one of the organisers of today’s event, Ms. Burgette Williams-Forde said the group was particularly proud to have been able to host the event free of cost to participants. This was due solely to the generosity of the sponsors, she said.
Ms. Williams-Forde also revealed that she was encouraged by Mr. Larry Singh of the Sidewalk Café to provide bicycles as prizes for the junior participants as President David Granger has been appealing to the nation to assist children to attend school and complete their education.
“Sports motivate young people. It gives them an opportunity,” Ms. Williams-Forde said.
She recalled that she first entered the GNS Ground as a 15-year-old and was later named Sportswoman of the Year and Athlete of the Year in 1984, as she proudly displayed her ceremonial T-shirt from 1984.
Trophies, and helmets for the bicycles for top finishers in the 5k category of the Jubilee Road Race
“I had to come back and do something…without Guyana National Service it would not [have been] possible,” she said.
The supporters and sponsors of the event are, respectively, the Ex-GTC/GT&T Workers Association, Anything Guyanese First and the Ex-Athletes group, among others and Ms. Phillipa Davis Melville of A and P Roti Shop; Ms. Pamela Eastman of Pam, Steve and Ms. Doris Rodney of The Hills Restaurant and Lounge and Lam West Indian Grocery, among others. There were also a number of individual sponsors.
In addition to showcasing their talent and training, the top finishers in the senior category were given cash prizes of $40,000, $30,000 and $20,000.