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Mar 24, 2009

Special Olympics promotes second annual Fun Run

Story PictureEarly Thursday morning, hundreds will be lining up at the Stella Maris school front gate for two races organized by the Special Olympics Belize. The first Fun Run race will head to Princess Margaret Drive, turn at the BTL offices into St. Thomas Street and back to Stella Maris School Front Gate for a mile and a half. The other race which covers three and a half mile follows Princess Margaret Drive into Newtown Barracks and turns in front of the Town Clock towards Freetown Road and back to Stella Maris School front gate.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting
One World Running started as a Colorado based N.G.O. in 1986 as Shoes for Africa. It provided footwear to those in need, and in the year 2008 they teamed up with Special Olympics Belize and donated tennis shoes to participants in the Special Olympics Fun Run. The event was such a success that One World Running has trotted back to Belize for another event.

Ana Weir, Executive Director, One World Running
“This is the second year that we are involved with the Special Olympics providing the shoes, T-Shirts, and numbers for them to help them move forward in other countries with their races that they do in other countries to provide shoes more or less. And so we really enjoy being here and being part of their community doing this event. Not only the Special Olympics but for everybody, for much of the people that want to be in the race, and for distributing all around Belize City in the other races that are happening at this time.”

Special Olympics Director, Akintade Atkins, says that this year’s event is open to the public.

Akintade Atkins, Director, Special Olympics
“The event we are having is Tag Belize Run 2009; it is actually something that is similar to the Fun Run that we started last year in Belize. We decided to actually include the mainstream persons to be the actual recipient of the sporting shoes, tennis shoes and other sporting gears that the organization in the United States will be providing. We estimate that a total of one thousand three hundred persons countrywide will be receiving running shoes. And an additional five hundred plus will be receiving T-Shirts, and other things. In a way this initiative promotes health and fitness. But the most important thing to Special Olympic Belize we believe it is an avenue to bring all persons irrespective of their abilities, or disabilities or their colour to bring them together under one umbrella to actually accept persons who are in a way different intellectual functions from all of us.”

Today students from primary schools throughout Belize City were selecting their free tennis shoes and receiving their shirts. While the event gives all students an opportunity to socialize, what they care most about is running in tomorrow’s race.

Romelda Logan, Runner
“Well last year was good, for the running.”

Jose Sanchez
“And this year what are you going to do?”

Romelda Logan

Jose Sancehz
“And you get a free tennis also?”

Romelda Logan
“Yes sir.”

Jose Sanchez
“What was the experience like last year?

Jamaal Cherrington, Runner
“It was good.”

Jose Sanchez
“What are you looking forward to this year?”

Jamaal Cherrington
“It makes you feel better, make you look better, have fun, make Belize proud.”

Brett Gentle, Runner
“Well its good and thing. Yeah, I feel happy and thing, fi wear the tennis and thing.”

Jose Sanchez
“So you got your free tennis, you will use it on Wednesday?”

Brett Gentle
“Yes sir.”

Jordan Williams, Student, All Saints Primary School
“I feel happy, because you get tennis to experience the run.”

Jose Sanchez
“So you think you will complete the race?”

Jordan Williams
“I won’t run at first, but I’ll walk then I’ll start to run when I get into it more.”

Jose Sanchez
“Maybe you’ll come back again next year to run?”

Jordan Williams
“yes sir.”

Ana Weir, Executive Director, One World Running
“my first experience was a very positive experience, everybody was very engaged, the teachers and the social workers and everybody that are involved with the kids were engaged and they are excited. The kids really liked it. Therefore, I thought I wanted to do it this year. This year it’s turning out to be even bigger. The one thing that we ask is for the community to come out and support their kids, to come out and do their support by being out there cheering while they’re doing this race.”

The race starts at five-forty-five a.m. Wednesday morning. Reporting for News Five Jose Sanchez.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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