Anguilla’s Race against AIDS 2013


The Optimist Club of Anguilla is a service organization whose focus is youth. I am a proud member and a past President of the Optimist Club of Anguilla. I take this opportunity to congratulate the Optimist Club of Anguilla on the 10th annual Anguilla’s Race against AIDS which was held on November 23rd 2013.

The purpose of the Race against AIDS is to help raise and maintain awareness of HIV/AIDS in Anguilla and in the region. This year the race was held on a smaller scale and we did not invite regional and international participants. However, next year we are inviting anyone and everyone to join us the last Saturday in November as we Race against AIDS. The categories for the race are Male and Female – 1K for the little ones, 5k, 10K and Half Marathon.

I would like to commend all the Optimist members and friends and supporters of Optimism who gave of their time and effort to our young people and particularly all those who worked on the Race against AIDS Committee this year which was chaired by Optimist Emma Ferguson.

Despite the fact that many of our young people went to St. Maarten for the Rights of the Child Sports Meet, we still had a good turn-out for the race. It was so gratifying to see the excitement on the children’s faces when they received their trophies and prizes after the race.

Some excited participants waiting for the trophy distribution

Some excited participants waiting for the trophy distribution

The same excitement must have been on my face as well as I walked away with the 2nd place trophy in the 16+ category female.

Anguilla's Race agaist AIDS 2013

Anguilla’s Race agaist AIDS 2013

The winner in my category was Jonicia Richardson who is a terrific athlete, a friend of Nash’s and who also happened to be the young lady who sang so beautifully at my wedding earlier in the year. I must give a shout out to Dorla Hodge who was the only female registered for the 10K and of course to my sweetie Nash who also ran the 10K. Two little brothers who were 4 and 5 years old were also so special and they took home the prizes for youngest participants. Congratulations to all the participants who got out of bed before 6am to participate in the race.

I would like to say a special thank you to the Ribbons Consulting Group out of Baltimore Maryland who joined us for a week prior to the Race against AIDS and conducted workshops with our youth and adults, spoke on radio and television programmes and had meetings with members of Government and community groups who play a part in HIV/AIDS and Substance Abuse awareness and Prevention.

Thanks also the Optimist Governor of our district Mrs. Nutilia Simon who flew to Anguilla and participated in the race. A special mention must be made of the President of the Anguilla Community Action Network (ACAN) Mr. John (POW) Lake, who is currently living with HIV/AIDS who gave timely remarks to the young people and adults present at the race.

The event would not have been a success without the kind contributions of numerous sponsors. Thanks to Her Excellency the Governor Christina Scott for hosting the opening reception the night before on the grounds of her home. Thanks to Cape Air for sponsoring the T-shirts for the event. Our water was supplied by ARONEL Water and Crystal Stream water services with a donation also from Opt. Damien Lloyd.

Cuisinart Golf Resort and Spa, Design Anguilla, AXA ITF TaeKwon-Do, Tackle Box, Mr. Into the Eye – Mr. Bernard Wattley, Gadget City and La Severine Total Fitness and Massage Services sponsored the prizes for the participants.

Thanks to those who prepared breakfast or provided breakfast items – English rose, Larry’s Catering, Lakes supermarket, Ashley’s Supermarket, JW Proctors, Sugar and Spice Bakery and Halls Bakery.

Other sponsors and contributors for the event included, Highway Rent a Car, Patsy’s Seaside Villa, LIME Anguilla, the Agriculture Department, Department of Sports and the Athletic Association.

As you can tell, it takes a community to make the Race against Aids a success. This is fitting as HIV and AIDS is truly all-ah-we business.

Thanks to all and we look forward to a bigger Race against AIDS next year as we continue to keep the focus on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.

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