Jamaican nationals and friends of the Diaspora are getting ready for the fourth annual Community 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at Miramar Regional Park in Miramar. Warm-up will begin at 6:30 a.m., followed by the race start at 7:00 a.m., simultaneously in five cities across the Southern USA. The cities include Atlanta, GA; Birmingham, AL; Houston, TX; Phoenix, AZ; and Orlando, in Central Florida and tri-county South Florida region.
Billed as the JAMAICA Hi—5 5K Run/Walk, the event, initiated by Consul General Oliver Mair, is intended to raise awareness and engage in healthy lifestyles in everyday living here in the Diaspora. The event continues to garner positive response each year. Last year’s turnout included some 1,000 participants across the five cities in the Southern USA. Consul General Mair who has jurisdiction responsibility for thirteen (13) Southern States is again urging persons to join the event by registering at www.jamaicahi5krun.com. “You can join us by running, walking or even making a donation to the cause” he said. “It’s a great experience of giving back as we stay healthy”.
Along with the City of Miramar Mayor, Wayne Messam, the event is also being staged in association with the Jamaica United Relief Association (JURA) a South Florida based non-profit organization dedicated to help the less fortunate in the areas of health, education and social services in South Florida, Jamaica and the Caribbean.
Consul General Mair continues to engage the Diaspora in projects benefitting primary health care in Jamaica. Proceeds generated from annual Jamaica 5K Run/Walk continue to support the Adopt A Clinic (AAC) Programme of the Ministry of Health and Wellness in Jamaica. So far, five clinics have been adopted from the annual registration. These are located in rural areas across the island.
CG Mair continues to express appreciation to the many persons committing of their talent, expertise, resources and time, when called upon to ‘give back’. He praised the charitable and alumni associations, churches, corporations and individuals for their active involvement as volunteers, donors and sponsors, participants all contributing to the success of the event annually.
The 5K Run/Walk was first held in October 2019, by the Consul General and Hi-5 was coined as a result of the five clinics to be adopted by the Diaspora community of the Southern USA; hence the annual Hi-5 5K event. This followed the effort of the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ initiative “Jamaica Moves” officially launched in April 2017, by Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton. It has now become part of the daily lifestyle of nationals at home. The Ministry of Health developed Jamaica Moves to equip the community with the knowledge and information to live a healthier life. Mr. Mair has taken the challenge one step further across the Diaspora, as he has engaged nationals to also become more active in promoting healthier lifestyles here in the Diaspora and at home.
In South Florida, Consul General Mair has developed a weekly training programme, free of charge to residents across the surrounding communities. This has been formalized by a coach, Jamaican sprinter, Daniel England, who has given of his time, encouraging persons to stay healthy through the five pillars of Hi-5 team open palm acknowledgement and endorsement. Each finger on the open palm represents – healthy diet; exercise; gratitude and positivity; philanthropy; enjoy life.
The annual Jamaica 5K Run/Walk event is not only geared to improve physical lifestyles, but also has a plethora of family fun activities and community participation including the awards ceremony, competitions, promotional activities by sponsors, health workshops and screenings, refreshments and entertainment. Consul General Mair is appealing to the communities to “come out and enjoy a day of sports, healthy lifestyles and supporting our community through ‘giving back efforts’ and also to experience Brand Jamaica.”