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Hundreds turned out for Atlantic Fun Walk

Grand Bahama segment of event to be held this coming Saturday
  • Bahamians from all walks of life turned up for the New Providence segment of the Atlantic Fun Walk on Saturday. The event started at Montagu Beach. FILE PHOTO

KELSIE JOHNSON
Guardian Sports Reporter
kelsie@nasguard.com

Published: Apr 24, 2012

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The distance that hundreds of Bahamians cover for the Atlantic Medical Fun Walk each year is, for the most part, described by participants as more than just a fun walk. Many of them view the annual event as a movement.

On Saturday, a record number of participants lined off at Montagu Beach for the 6 a.m. trek. The course, which sends participants in two different directions, is in its 14th year. A “big splash” is already planned for next year’s event.

“We had a great turnout, awesome response,” said committee chairman Darren Bastian. “The participants had a very good time. It appears as if we had definitely exceeded people’s expectations. The more we advertise the event the more people support it. We are building on the years of experience that we have had with this event, and I think that more and more people are understanding the need for awareness regarding cancer and diabetes.

“When we are out there people are always saying thank you for supporting this cause. They thank us because they had a family member or friend who had died from cancer or has diabetes. It is important for people who are impacted by these diseases, or know someone who has been impacted, to share how their perspectives are different. So for that it is more than just a walk, it is like a movement. They actually look forward to this event.

“We started to get calls from October-November 2011. People definitely anticipated this and they are very, very happy about the walk. They actually put it on their personal calendars, saying we are going to do the Atlantic Medical Fun Walk.”

The second leg of the walk will be held in Freeport, Grand Bahama this coming Saturday. Bastian said that event is not as big as the New Providence based one, but the response is quite significant.

With the numbers increasing in both events, Bastian said the committee members will have to go back to the drawing board and come up with something extra special for the 15th year. According to Bastian, persons have been asking, for more than three years, to have the run component added. The demand for the run is something the committee is now considering. Hosting the event twice a year may be in the distant future.

Bastian said: “I think that if we include the run element then the distance will change. We will have to make it longer for the run, but at this point the distance for the walk is pretty much manageable, especially on the competitive side. For those persons who feel as though the competitive route is too long for them, they have the ‘easy breezy’ route and that is for the non-competitors. At the end of the day, you have the option to choose what you want.

“That is a lot of work, two events in one year. The work that you see out there is the effort of our company but we still have our other duties to do at the same time. It is a lot of work but if we come to the point where we feel as though we need to do this more than once a year, then we will step up to the plate and do it. At the end of the day it is our service to the community.”

The proceeds from the event goes to the Cancer Society of The Bahamas and the Bahamas Diabetic Association. Bastian thanked all for supporting the charity event, especially the sponsors and persons who volunteered their time.

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