By Franklin Wilson
Living through to its marquee slogan’ “Guyana’s Bigger Better Network”, Digicel has pulled out all the stops to bring a larger and indeed enhanced Cancer Awareness Cycle Road Race in 2013. This year’s theme for Breast Cancer Awareness Month is, “Together We Fight”.
At the launch of the Second Annual Digicel Cancer Awareness Cycle Road Race, yesterday, Digicel’s Sponsorship and Events Manager, former National Hockey player, Gavin Hope disclosed that apart from attracting the biggest prize monies ever in the sport locally, this year’s race will take on a different format.
Hope was joined at the launch by colleagues, Head of Sales and Distribution Ms. Nalini Viera, Junior Marketing Manager Tandieka Johnson along with Guyana Cycling Federation Secretary Ms. Cheryl Matthews, General Manager of the Cancer Institute of Guyana Ms. Fiona Legall and Chairperson of the Avon Community Help Fund, Ms. Mignan Bowen.
This year’s event is a collaborative effort between, Digicel, the Guyana Cycling Federation and Roraima Bikers Club.
The simple but significant occasion whilst focusing on the upcoming road race which will start in the Bauxite Mining Town of Linden and end at the Carifesta Avenue entrance to the National Park on Sunday October 27, 2013, also zoomed in on the scourge of cancer and its devastating effects on women.
While noting that Digicel wanted to make the event much more competitive and is aiming for the biggest turn out ever, Hope was quick to point out that they also wanted to ensure that competitors are properly compensated thus the increase in prizes which will total in excess of One Million dollars.
Not going into too much detail regarding the prize structure for the four categories (open, junior, ladies, veterans), Hope announced that the winner of the open category will pedal off with a whopping $240,000, the biggest first place prize ever in Guyana.
So, with cycling lifting off in terms of attracting lucrative prizes, the focus will now be on who will be the person pedaling away with the top prize this year. The event is expected to attract the cream of the nation’s riders from the two main counties competing, Demerara and Berbice.
Trophies and other incentives will also be up for the taking. Ms. Matthews in brief remarks thanked Digicel for maintaining their partnership with the entity and making the event more attractive this year.
Ms. Vieira, representing Digicel’s senior Management, noted that the race is strategically planned to help in brining awareness of cancer to Guyanese.
“Particularly, we are highlighting breast cancer as a disease that a lot of women are affected by. The other thing with this race, we are asking all participants to give a donation of a minimum of $500 and up and all the donations given, Digicel will match that and we will give that to the Guyana Cancer Society.
So I just want everyone to come out and support your fellow Guyanese to make the race bigger and better and bring awareness of cancer to Guyanese.”
In her brief, Guyana Cancer Society General Manager Ms. Fiona Legall reminded of this year’s theme, “Together We Fight” praised Digicel as a committed partner with the Society working towards improving the health and wellbeing of Guyanese.
“We once again welcome this collaborative that Digicel has taken in the observance of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Cancer remains the third leading cause of in Guyana with Breast Cancer as the most prevalent. The cancer Institute remains relentless in its efforts to continuously educate and raise awareness about the disease with particular emphasis on prevention and early detection.”
Legall said that the Institute is looking forward to the continued partnership with Digicel in educating Guyanese.
Hope, who echoed the sentiments of Ms. Vieira reminded that the race is aimed at raising the awareness of cancer and its devastating effects on the lives of individuals and their families. He promised that the deficiencies that were associated with the events in its inaugural year will not be repeated.
To this end, GCF Executive Member Brian Allen along with the entity has been tasked with the responsibility of coordinating and executing the event.
“Everybody will have an opportunity to win and win big. There’s cash and trophies. So we urge everybody to come out, this is the biggest purse that cyclists in Guyana will be riding for. I don’t want to talk about what will happen next year, let’s focus on this year and once things are better than last year, once we have in excess of 90 cyclists you can imagine what will happen next year.”
Whilst junior and senior riders will start at the Four Corner Junction in Linden, ladies and veterans will pedal off from Splashmin’s Fun Park on the Linden Soesdyke Highway.
Transportation to Linden for cyclists and their cycles will be provided by Digicel and will leave their Head Office, 8 Fort and Barrack Streets, Kingston, Georgetown at 04:30hrs on Sunday October 27 for Linden.
Race time is 07:00hrs.
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