By Neto Baptiste
The Antigua and Barbuda National Olympic Committee (ABNOC) has dedicated this year’s Olympic Day activities to hospitalised cyclist Andre Simon and has said that all proceeds from the glow walk and run will go towards the athlete’s medical fund.
Technical Development Officer within the NOC, Charles Bellot, made the disclosure while speaking on the Good Morning Jojo sports show, urging all athletes and citizens to support the initiative.
“I think that all athletes, especially, should try their best to support this event, because we are all our brothers and sisters’ keepers. We have a fellow athlete who is really engaged in the fight of his life and not only Andre himself but the Herculean task faced by his family,” he said.
Simon was injured after he and other cyclists were struck by a vehicle on May 8 on the Sir George Walter Highway while they were on an early morning training session. The athlete remains hospitalised as the family and others continue fundraising efforts to fly him to Texas for medical attention.
The glow walk/run, which will move off from the Rising Sun grounds, is slated to start at 6pm and carries a registration fee of $10. Participants will make a single loop over Michael’s Mount to All Saints Road, turning onto American Road and then onto Factory Road before making their way back to Rising Sun via Parliament Drive.
“We all have to engage in something involving learning, moving and discovering and the Olympic Day Run has always been a staple. To try and mix things up, last year’s event was a hike which was well received, so this year we decided to try our best to do something different. [Since] the IOC’s mandated theme is one of peace, the idea came up that if we do a night walk or an evening walk, we might be able to use the white glow sticks and really pull off a good eye-catching event,” he said.
According to the NOC, an added feature to this year’s event will be a music truck leading the participants while there will be a short closing ceremony with attendees being treated to a mini-concert featuring soca artiste Zamoni and others.
Participants can register on line or via the NOC’s social media handles.