More than 350 persons participated in the University of The Bahamas (UB) Virtual UBFIT Fun Run Walk Bike Skate Push 5K/10K race that happened over the weekend in a tangible display of support for wellness and the University.
In its fourth year, but the first in a virtual format, the UBFIT race attracted participants in Exuma, Andros, Long Island, New Providence, Grand Bahama and internationally as the excitement spread. Each participant completed either a 5K or 10K race course on their own, as a family, or in small groups and submitted the results tracked in their apps in order to receive a finisher’s medal. The event was held from 9th to 11th April.
“Despite the pandemic and the many restrictions we faced, as a committee, we re-envisioned what UBFIT could look like this year in a virtual capacity,” said Ms. Kandice Eldon, UBFIT Co-Chair and UB Executive Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations. “And we are so pleased that members of the public, corporate Bahamas and the University participated in such a major way.”
UBFIT has become one of UB’s staple community building and fundraising initiatives. In its inaugural year, more than 500 people participated, consequently contributing to UB’s Annual Fund and supporting the goal of increased mobility for students with special needs. The event grew from the University’s annual Health and Safety Week, held under the theme “Fit. Healthy. Safe.”
To date, more than $180,000 has been collectively raised from sponsorships, registrants and generous in-kind donations. Funds raised this year from UBFIT will support the COVID-19 Technology Relief Fund and Annual Fund to provide laptops, tablets and other technology for students in need.
“We have exceeded our fundraising and registration goal with more than 350 registrants who participated especially dedicated community running groups, friends of UB, and corporate Bahamas,” said Ms. Eldon. “I wish to thank all of our sponsors and title sponsor Oaktree Medical Center for joining us for the next three years as we expand this health and wellness initiative.”
Oaktree Medical Center Director Dr. Don Diego Deveaux noted that he was more than happy to be UBFIT’s title sponsor as the health and education of a nation is its wealth.
“To whom much is given, much is required, and for the Oaktree family the opportunity to partner with University of The Bahamas for UBFIT represents many of the core values we believe in and is picture perfect and timely,” said Dr. Deveaux. “We are delighted to strengthen our relationship with University of The Bahamas and encourage corporate Bahamas to continue doing the same.”
Bahamas Power & Light (BPL) Company Ltd. was another corporate partner and expressed pride in being a founding UBFIT sponsor.
“We have committed to improving the lives of Bahamians by improving access to safe, reliable and affordable energy, and we believe University of The Bahamas is equally as committed to improving the lives of Bahamians by both preparing our young people for a job and preparing them to thrive in their overall lives,” said Mr. Quincy Parker, BPL Director of Public Relations. “UBFIT targets its fundraising to help people discover and live out their own, individual purpose and find purposeful work, and we at BPL are proud to help that effort succeed.”
Additional corporate and in-kind sponsors of Virtual UBFIT included Bahamas First, J.S. Johnson, Leno Corporate Services Ltd., Public Hospitals Authority, Walk-In Clinic, BowFlex Barbie, Caribbean Bottling Company and UB’s Alumni Association.
Participants in New Providence collected their finisher’s medals at a drive-by collection site on Sunday, 11th April at UB’s main entrance on University Drive.