Love and unity- Shelly, Asafa praise Sigma Run's role in nation-building
Jamaica's sprint great Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and former superstar Asafa Powell are lauding the Caribbean's largest road race, the Sagicor Sigma Corporate Run, for its extraordinary contribution to nation-building.
Fraser-Pryce, a multiple World and Olympic champion, and Powell, a former 100m record holder, were both patrons of this year's 25th staging of the event, which was dubbed the Legacy Run.
The Sagicor Sigma Legacy Run, which took place on Sunday, returned to a full in-person run for the first time in two years and organisers say over 20,000 people participated.
The event raised a record-breaking $91.8 million, which will go to the paediatric unit at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) and the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA).
"I think the causes are always important. But I am extremely proud of Sigma for raising such a large sum of money over the years to help build Jamaica and the various sectors here in Jamaica," said Fraser-Pryce, who is known to many as the Pocket Rocket.
"I am proud to lend my image and platform to that cause because, again, I have a child and he may need to use the UHWI or my child may decide he wants to go to EMCVPA, and so it is all about supporting a worthy cause that will help them enable us as a country," she told the Jamaica Observer.
Fraser-Pryce, who had launched her non-profit, the Pocket Rocket Foundation, in 2013, which aids in providing hope for Jamaican youth by supporting student-athletes with academic funding and guidance on navigating their futures, acknowledges the support given by Sagicor.
"Well, this is my second time being a patron for the meet, and all the times I have always said that Sagicor or Sigma will be there for us because they were one of the first persons to seek my foundation, and so to be able to partner with them on this is wonderful. And I am glad that Jamaica came out to support," Fraser-Pryce said.
Powell, the man with the record for the most sub-10 times in the history of the 100m, said the Sagicor Sigma Legacy Run is the perfect platform for Jamaicans to show love and unity.
"Well, Sigma is a big deal. It is one of those events where people benefit in many different ways. You have the beneficiaries which are UHWI and EMCVPA and they are benefiting from money, and the general public they benefiting from feeling good about themselves for giving back and they are getting an exercise and it is a good way for everybody to come out and show love," Powell said.
He continued: "It means a lot, it goes to show that Jamaica people really do love their country and they love to support their country, and we need a lot more events like this to really push the country forward more."