Education Run This Town, an inaugural event of the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, has been dubbed a success and is likely to stay on the Education Month calendar.
Coordinator of the event and Deputy Chief Media Resource Officer of the Media Resource Department (MRD), Burkley Lowe, assured the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) of this recently as he reviewed the outcome of the 3K Run and 5K Walk/Run, held on October 18.
The 3K Run and 5K Walk/Run, which was also in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the MRD, saw over 500 participants and about 300 spectators lining the route.
Alluding to its success, Mr. Lowe said: ???It was there to help Barbadians get on the move and lots of them turned out. We saw children from as young as six running with their parents and that to me was the highlight – where children who would not normally be chosen for an athletic event came out and took part and to see parents with them was something that was not expected. It was a pleasure to see the family affair.???
Stressing it was not an athletic event as they are already avenues for athletes, he said: ???They are usually accommodated. This is an event to get Barbadians moving and to get them exercising and keeping healthy.???
The visually impaired and the disabled were also involved and Mr. Lowe, pleased with this, acknowledged that the Ministry, with its thrust towards inclusiveness, had not only embraced the blind community and those in wheelchairs, on that day, but were joined by persons from the Special Olympics as well.
According to the MRD official, feedback from runners showed they were excited about the three-in-one event. Recalling a comment from one lady, Mr. Lowe said she expressed happiness to be part of ???something like this because it looked at everybody ??? the blind and the wheelchair competitors???.
He recounted: ???Her favourite was when she saw what she determined was a little boy from St. Jude???s Primary sprinting towards home, and while not winning the race, was making it to the end.???
Mr. Lowe further pointed out that, on the whole, walkers seemed happy and satisfied; they liked the route which was flat and enjoyed the water stations because at that time of day it was very hot. He noted that some had approached him indicating it was the first time they had been invited to take part in any such event and ???God sparing their lives next year, they will be back out in more numbers???.
In commending the MRD staff and other Ministry personnel, Mr. Lowe said he welcomed the sentiment offered by Education Minister, Ronald Jones, where he expressed that ???this was too big an event and too successful to have it just once???. To this end, he said patrons could look forward to its continuation next year.
The Deputy Chief Media Resource Officer also thanked sponsors and volunteers for their hard work and participation in the event. Particular mention was made of the Barbados Netball Association, whose members walked as guides for the visually impaired.
The winner of the 5K Walk in the male category was Rodney Blackman; he was followed home by Dudley Harewood and Joseph Williams respectively. In the female category, the winner was Matrid Griffith, with second and third place going to well-known walker, Veta Batson, and Donna Blackman respectively.
The 5K Walk, where some visually impaired competitors participated, saw Adrian Daniel home first while Anthony Cummins and Trevor Broome were second and third respectively. The first woman home was Ann Marie Goddard; Lisa Williams and Desiree Hinds. Two wheel chair competitors ??? Christopher Gilkes and Sean Cooke ??? also participated.
Hakeem Newton won the Men???s 5K Run, while Oein Josiah was second and Jerome Blackett third. In the women???s category, Marlo Hunte came home first, while Jane Evelyn and Sabrina Baird were second and third respectively.
Meanwhile, the 3K Run saw numerous entrants, with parents and physical education teachers accompanying students; this made for a family event. The first primary school male home was Amir Gustave of Bay Primary. His school mate, Michael Browne, placed second, while Daniel Yazid of Luther Thorne Memorial was third.
In the female category, the first primary school student to place was Kaya Kellman-Wall of Wilkie Cumberbatch Primary; she was followed by Shont?? Seale of Hilda Skeene Primary and Denisha Forde of St. Catherine???s Primary. West Terrace Primary School won the biggest registered primary group, while Ellerslie won in the secondary category.