Race for top prize

Noelene Mallaam, Gina Houng -Lee and Howard Politini during the launch yesterday. Picture: SUPPLIED

FIJI will get to see one unique and stylish sporting trophies during the 2018 Island Chill Suva Marathon on July 21 at Albert Park.

Thanks to corporate giant Bank South Pacific (BSP), the trophy is made from the Fijian timber called vesi (Intsia bijuga), a tree close to iTaukei because of products made from it such as the tanoa, itaukei handicrafts and also has some herbal medicinal values. Carved on to the base of the trophy is a replica of a running shoe or jogger.

It was donated to Suva Marathon Club president Gina Houng Lee by BSP general manager human resources Howard Politini yesterday.

The trophy will be the main prize for the business house competition in the annual marathon. Politini said the race, enjoyed by professional runners, business houses and corporate employees, families, sports people, students and children, and even the physically challenged, was a way of uniting people and helping them stay healthy.

“It is good to see that marathon is growing,” Politini said.

“We got into sponsoring this team event as it is great to have this pleasant positive extra-curricular activity. That’s why we are proud to donate this trophy for the team event. “There is much value in the event because it provides opportunity of adding the team factor which makes it more fun and captures the competitive spirit and build on teamwork. That’s what we want to encourage as a company. “We need, as a nation, to become healthier. We love sports and we are happy to get behind a good thing because it makes the work place happier and the nation healthier and happier.”

Lee, while commending BSP said next month’s race was expected to have about 2000 runners.

“Last year we had 1300 runners, this year we expect to have more. We have a lot of runners from Japan. For us, it is a great challenge for businesses houses and the corporate houses to come onboard and be part of the best of the business challenge. “WE have a mix of runners — from serious runners such as Shri Chand “Mushroom”, who is definitely coming back. We also have fast runners and the 10km and fun run walkers. “We want to set the pitch for people to be out there moving,” Lee said.

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