The popular Nation Funathlon is back and on Sunday, November 23rd and with the support of Platinum sponsor, Barbados Yellow Pages and Silver Sponsor, Beacon Insurance, it promises to be more fun and exciting than ever. It is the emphasis on bringing more excitement to the annual event that has influenced a number of significant changes to this year’s popular walk and run which will also mark the 41st anniversary of the Nation Newspaper.
Under the banner of the newly launched Show Your Love campaign which aims to stimulate and highlight positive acts in Barbados, this year’s Funathlon calls participants to "Show Your Love, Stop The Violence. “Violence in any form is devastating and there are too many individuals and families in Barbados who have been touched by this curse. Despite this, our country continues to record increased incidences of violent encounters and as a leading media house we want to bring more support and awareness to reversing this trend. We are therefore encouraging all residents of Barbados, to come out, have fun and add their voice and feet to support the call to end all forms of mental and physical violence, including offline and online bullying, domestic abuse and violent crimes. ”said Head of Marketing and Communication at The Nation Publishing Co. Limited, Valerie Hope.
“The Nation Funathlon remains a Not for Profit event and this year all excess funds generated will be donated to two worthy organizations focused on anti-violence activities” continued Ms. Hope. “These are the Olweus School Bullying Programme coordinated by Supreme Counselling for Professional Development and the BPW Barbados Crisis Centre and Safe House.
For the first time in its history and to encourage as wide a participation as possible, The Nation Funathlon has been moved to an afternoon start with runners and walkers moving off at 3:15 and 3:30pm respectively. “The shift to afternoon responds to feedback from members of the public including those from church communities who were previously unable to participate, when the event was held in the morning,” shared Valerie Hope, Nation Publishing’s Head of Marketing and Communications.
Funathlon participants can run, walk, or even dance along a shortened scenic course through the Historic City of Bridgetown. Starting and ending at Independence Square, the 7K route winds through the “heart” of the city, symbolic of what the Nation Publishing seeks to evoke with the corporate campaign Show Your Love. The reduced route will be punctuated with exciting surprises including, ‘Love Stops’ and roving photographers.
Registered walkers will also receive a commemorative T-Shirt as part of their package, which will feature the anti-violence message “It Stops Here”. Individuals and Groups are however still encouraged to express their creativity and showcase their identity through custom messaging and logos at the back of their shirts.
The Funathlon is only one part of The Nation’s campaign to reduce violence in Barbados, the company in collaboration with event sponsors Barbados Yellow Pages and Beacon Insurance will also be pushing out a social media campaign to increase awareness and encourage persons to join the movement to reduce violence. “We all have a role to play, we therefore encourage persons to use the hashtags #ShowYourLove246 and #ItStopsHere to share their own encounters and messages to reduce and eliminate violence and abuse in any form.