Jamaican nationals and friends of the Diaspora are getting ready for the third annual Community 5K Run/Walk on May 7, 2022, at the Miramar Regional Park in Miramar. Warm-up will begin at 6:30 a.m., followed by the race start at 7:30 a.m., simultaneously in five cities across the Southern USA. The cities include Atlanta, GA; Birmingham, AL; Charleston, South Carolina; Phoenix, AZ; and Orlando, Central Florida and tri-county South Florida region.
Billed as the JAMAICA Hi–5K Run/Walk, the event was initiated by Consul General Oliver Mair and is intended to raise awareness and engage in healthy lifestyles in everyday living here in the Diaspora. Consul General Oliver Mair continues to engage the Diaspora in projects benefitting primary health care in Jamaica. Proceeds from annual registration continue to support the Adopt A Clinic (AAC) Programme of the Ministry of Health and Wellness in Jamaica. So far, four clinics have been adopted in rural areas across the island.
The event so far, has continued to garner positive response from the community as this year, registration numbers have already exceeded last year’s count of 685 and still climbing. Consul General Mair is urging persons to join the event as registration is still open 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”. Consul General has even developed a weekly training group free of charge to residents across the surrounding communities. This has now been formalized with a coach, Jamaican sprinter, Daniel England, who has generously given his time to helping persons stay healthy. Other persons have contributed with all kinds of supporting regimen to healthy lifestyles. There have been health tips to eating, dance programs, yoga classes, boot-camps, name it and it has become a part of the weekly efforts.
The annual Hi-5K was launched in October 2019, by Consul General Mair. This followed the effort of the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ initiative “Jamaica Moves” officially launched in April 2017, by 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 had 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.
The Adopt-A-Clinic programme under the Ministry of Health and Wellness, a primary health care renewal strategic initiative to engage the Jamaican private sector, and also the Diaspora communities to play a critical role in improving the provision and access to primary health care in Jamaica. Under the AAC programme, a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is established between the Ministry and the adopting agent. The adopted clinic benefits from a variety of donations including a set financial obligation, mission trips and support teams from the benefactor.
Several clinics have already been adopted by the Diaspora community including the Atlanta-MoBay Sister Cities Programme. While formal adoptions have not yet been established, several charitable groups like the Jamaica Nurses Association of Florida (JNAF) and the Kiwanis Club have done annual mission trips to support the adoption programme. Mr. Mair praised the community associations, churches, educational institutions, corporations and individuals for their active involvement in participating in the launch through physical participation, sponsorship and donations all contributing to the success of the event annually.
The Hi-5K event was not only geared to improve physical lifestyles, but also had a plethora of family fun activities and community participation including the awards ceremony, competitions, promotional activities by sponsors, health workshops and screenings, brunch serving and entertainment.