‘RunQ8’ boosts awareness about people with special needs
Kuwait’s most prominent charity sporting event celebrates its sixth year
RunQ8, the iconic non-profit initiative organized by Fawzia Sultan Rehabilitation Institute (FSRI) with the support of Founding Partner Agility, returned for its sixth year with a massive show of support from across the community in Kuwait.
More than 2,000 people gathered at The Scientific Center Kuwait yesterday morning, coming together to lend their support to children with disabilities.
The annual event, which has become one of the largest charity sporting events in Kuwait, aims to raise awareness and funds to support FSRI’s Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC) - a non-profit pediatrics facility providing specialized interdisciplinary treatment and care for children with disabilities. CERC provides a full spectrum of care to the children in Kuwait - including rehab for physical injuries, developmental disorders, speech, language and swallowing difficulties, behavioral difficulties, learning disabilities, and much more.
This year, the RunQ8 was generously supported by a number of local companies and organizations, including RunQ8’s Founding Partner Agility; Platinum Sponsor The Promenade Mall; Venue Sponsor The Scientific Center; Silver Sponsors Al-Ruwayeh & Partners (ASAR) and EQUATE; Bronze Sponsors Fitness First and Intersport, Friend Sponsors Jumeriah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa, Porsche Behbehani Motors, Al-Essa Health Shop, Ikea; Media Sponsors Al Anbaa, Ahlan and Kuwait Times; Social Media Partners Khaleejesque and EverythingKuwait; and Payment Sponsor Tap. In its sixth edition, RunQ8 featured two chipped distances - 5km and 10km - offering something for every participant, regardless of their age and fitness level.
The 10km race proved to be an exciting challenge for the serious athletes and competitive runners who took part. Renata Hoppova nabbed first place in the women’s adult division, with Taiba Al-Nouri and Amal Al-Roumi coming in second and third place respectively. Amongst the male participants, Pedro Carvalho came in first place followed by Tito Rodriguez and then Ahmmad Bahrami.
As for the youth category, featuring participants ages 16 to 18, Noora Al Sabah came in as the top female finisher and Abdulaziz Al Duaij as the top male finisher. RunQ8 also added a new category this year with the master division, dedicated to participants ages 55 and above. In that category, Patricia Petrelli placed first amongst female runners and Ronald Scott placed first in the male division.
The 5km competition proved to be just as exhilarating for those who opted to compete in the shorter distance. Lulu Al Askar was the top female runner in that category, with Sulaiman Abdulrahman coming is first amongst the male participants.
In keeping with its tradition, RunQ8 was just as fun and enjoyable for everyone who came to the event, regardless of their fitness level. Participants of all ages lent their support in whichever way suited them best: Walking, jogging and even pushing along their baby strollers. Families and friends of participants gathered at the RunQ8 Village where a number of local vendors and businesses had set up booths, offering snacks, beverages and much more. The RunQ8 Village also featured a number of fun activities throughout the day, including a number of fitness activities to make sure everyone who showed up was able to get a healthy dose of exercise.
Funds raised by RunQ8 go towards helping FSRI’s CERC to continue providing specialized quality care for children across the community in Kuwait. The majority of raised funds are used to help families facing financial difficulties, giving them access to much-needed treatment at a subsidized lower cost, or even for free in some cases.
“We are all so proud of just how far RunQ8 has come over the past six years, and I am in absolute awe of the level of support we receive from everyone in this community year on year,” said Dr. Elham Al-Hamdan, President & Medical Director of FSRI.
She further added “I would personally like to thank everyone who showed up today to contribute to our cause: our participants and their families, our sponsors and partners, and everyone else in this community. The collective contributions of everyone involved will have a tremendous effect on helping us fulfill our mission, providing children with disabilities with the expert specialized care they need.”
—Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat