Via Jamaica Gleaner
Sagicor Foundation Executive Director Alysia White says that they are targeting a scaled-down physical event for the Sigma Run next year.
She was speaking at the press briefing for the annual event yesterday. It was also announced that Olympic 110m men’s hurdles champion Hansle Parchment and Olympic 100m hurdles women’s bronze medallist Megan Tapper will be patrons for 2022.
The Olympians will be tasked with helping to promote the event and encourage donations for the Kingston Public Hospital, the beneficiary for the 2022 run.
While the majority of the 2021 event was done virtually, an invitation-only street run was held last February in New Kingston with COVID-19 protocols. White says that while a return to larger crowds is still not yet feasible, there are plans for a three-part race, a corporate team bubble event to be held on February 13, the invitational race on February 20, and the virtual run.
“There will be roughly 1,500 persons who will be invited to participate (in the invitational race),” White said. “Maybe not all of them will do it, but what we are trying to tell everyone this year is that you have the opportunity to be a part of all three runs. We are not in a position as a country right now to have over 27,000 strong in the streets, unfortunately. We wish we were. And so, we hope that this will be the start of something brand new.”
The in-person races will be done with fully vaccinated patrons only, and White said that the application process for approval has already begun, with an inspection expected to take place by the Ministry of Health and Wellness starting next week.
“The list is very long that we have to meet in terms of the requirements,” she said. “We have applied to the ministers that are relevant. The Ministry of Health is doing its first round of inspections with us on Monday. So we are confident that we’ll be able to meet those requirements but there is still a process because of where we are in the country right now.”
The 2021 run raised over $49 million for the Annotto Bay and Port Antonio hospitals, and Tapper says that she hopes she and Parchment can lend their voice to surpass that mark in 2022.
“To lend support to something that is so much bigger than you as a person, it’s always important,” she said. “With Hansle and I coming together and pushing the Jamaican people to even give the smallest that they can contribute, I really think that we can make it.”
While pleased with being able to lend support to the hospital, Parchment is also pleased that he will be able to give his alma mater, Morant Bay High School some much-needed help. Each patron will receive $650,000 to donate to the beneficiary of their choice and Parchment says it will help to support students who have difficulty attending school, and also provide infrastructural upgrade for the school.
“I’m happy that I can be a part of helping to fix that and hopefully we can transition to a different level,” Parchment said. “To choose my school as a beneficiary is a great thing for me because it gives me a chance to give back to my parish, to my school.”