A signature wellness and community engagement effort of University of The Bahamas (UB), the 2020 UBFIT race is expected to be the best one yet, with a new title sponsor on board for the event. Oaktree Medical Center is UBFIT’s new title sponsor, with a total $30,000 sponsorship commitment for the next three years, University officials announced on Tuesday, 3rd March at a press conference. The UBFIT Fun Run Walk Bike Skate 5K/10k race will be held on Saturday, 4th April, leaving once again from UB’s Oakes Field Campus. Additionally, this year there is a special invitation for persons to participate in the “push” element of the race. U.B President Dr. Rodney D. Smith welcomed Oaktree Medical Center’s sponsorship, particularly since the donation comes a few months after Hurricane Dorian devastated the UB-North campus in East Grand Bahama. Funds raised from this year’s event will go towards rebuilding efforts for UB-North, enhancing mobility on UB’s campuses and boosting the Annual Fund for critical programmes across the institution.
“The generous giving from our donors and friends nationally and abroad remains vital as we continue to recover throughout this process,” said Dr. Smith. “Supporting our signature UBFIT race is one of the ways we can make a difference in the lives of our students, faculty and staff in Grand Bahama while at the same time, meeting our wellness goals.” Oaktree Medical Center Director Dr. Don Diego Deveaux noted that he is more than happy to be UBFIT’s title sponsor since 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,” Dr. Deveaux said. “We are delighted to strengthen our relationship with University of The Bahamas today and encourage corporate Bahamas to do the same.”
UBFIT has emerged as one of UB’s crucial 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 institution’s annual Health and Safety Week, held under the theme “Fit. Healthy. Safe.” President Smith noted that UBFIT has seen an increase in anticipation, enthusiasm, and participation each year since its inception in 2017. Erin Brown, an amputee who serves as UB’s Disability and Compliance Director, said she is pleased with the addition of the push element to the race because it provides accessibility and accommodations for people with disabilities. “Push enables everyone to participate,” said Ms. Brown. “Wheelchair users can propel themselves or have support in being pushed. Adaptive athletes with physical disabilities can participate with accompanied guides or support staff. Push also includes family and friends who would enjoy a push in the strollers or sitting on tandem bikes.”
Dino Hernandez, UB’s Vice President of Institutional Advancement, thanked the various sponsors for their donations since their giving is helping to restore University operations in Grand Bahama. “The devastation of Hurricane Dorian was immense,” he said. “However, the generosity of so many donors who sprang to the aid of our students and faculty at UB-North was heart-warming.” UBFIT is made possible by generous public private partnerships, in-kind giving and donor support, and has raised more than $150,000 over the years. In addition to Oaktree Medical Center, other sponsors include Bahamas Power & Light, Generali Worldwide, Elite Wellness Solutions, J.S Johnson, the Walk-In Clinic and Nassau Agencies. Additional corporate support for the event is expected to pour in over the coming weeks.