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Home / Opinion / All should support the DG 5k

All should support the DG 5k

Deputy Governor’s 5K Challenge

You don’t need to be sporty or even reasonably fit to get involved in the Deputy Governor’s 5K Challenge, just be a community-minded person with a good heart.

The recipient from all proceeds from this event will be the YMCA of the Cayman Islands. Led by Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, the annual walk/run will aim to raise $60,000 for the youth-oriented organisation.

This is its fourth year and in that time it has become a staple on the community calendar. The DG’s 5K Challenge attracts civil servants, private sector employees and members of the public in a wonderful fitness and fundraising challenge. Mr. Manderson introduced this event partly to increase awareness for a healthier, more active and more socially engaged civil service and to benefit charitable organisations and initiatives in the Cayman Islands. The initiative has worked as other events have cropped up, helping civil servants get fitter and lead healthier lifestyles.

The Young Men’s Christian Association in the Cayman Islands was only established five years ago although the organisation was founded in the United Kingdom in 1844 and has a worldwide membership of over 50 million in over 120 countries. It may be a relatively new Christian movement here but has already had a positive impact. It is led by a host of community and corporate leaders who give their invaluable time to help members in such programmes as day camps, leadership training, after-school projects and team building.

The YMCA’s founding mission is to help people reach their God-given potential by putting Christian principles into practice in ways that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. The DG 5k will ensure everyone participating will have their bodies strengthened by the excursion, plus their minds and spirits enriched by making a contribution.

The local Y claims that its core values of caring, honesty, respect, responsibility and faith are central to all the projects it undertakes. It is a thriving organisation and the focus on it from this event will help bolster membership and community involvement.

Not all youngsters are academic and want to pursue careers in white-collar employment so it is refreshing to see the money raised going towards a ropes challenge course in Grand Cayman which will provide an alternative to classroom-style learning.

The aim is to increase self-esteem, confidence and team-building skills using alternative methods outside of the traditional classroom environment.

Participants will have access to practical examples of how to improve communication, awareness of their strengths and potential and how better to interact with others, invaluable tips to gain leadership skills. All youngsters have fears, insecurities and sometimes lack confidence and this course helps overcome these traits.

Everyone who can should make an effort to get involved in the 2017 DG’s 5K Challenge. Mr. Manderson is a perfect example of using exercise and healthy options to get fitter. Those really keen ones can actually enter it twice as it is being staged on two islands on successive weekends. It begins at 6.30 a.m. on Sunday, Apr. 23 at Cayman Brac Museum, Stake Bay and at 6.30 a.m. on Sunday, Apr. 30 at the Government Administration Building, Elgin Avenue, on Grand Cayman. The event is suitable for all ages and levels of fitness. Even parents with strollers have entered.

Mr. Manderson said that the YMCA is doing “a tremendous job” by helping youngsters in the community and that “it is essential” to help and encourage them. He is doing a tremendous job himself by staging this event.

Once the money is collected and a specific site for the ropes challenge is located, construction can begin relatively quickly, certainly this year.

It won’t just be YMCA members benefitting from the course either as the facility will be available to other community groups and corporate teams too.

Andrew Johnson, chairman of the YMCA of the Cayman Islands said he was “thrilled” to be the recipient and they are “extremely grateful to the Deputy Governor.” The whole community should be too.

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