‘RunQ8’ boosts aware­ness about peo­ple with spe­cial needs

Kuwait’s most prom­i­nent char­ity sporting event cel­e­brates its sixth year

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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