Kota Kinabalu: The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) will join forces with Kinabalu Running Club (KRC) to host the 10th edition of the Borneo International Marathon that carries a new theme :#thisability’ this year.
KRC President and race director Datuk Dr Heng Aik Cheng in his speech at the official launch of the event by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman at a leading hotel here on Wednesday said some 10,000 participants from Malaysia and overseas will take part together with children of disability in Kota Kinabalu on May 7.
“This year we are including children with disabilities to help them to realise their full potential.
We want to provide opportunities and encourage them to learn and participate in all our activities.
“By bringing together persons with and without disabilities in the marathon will give them the pride and dignity in our community and will also contribute to make our society more inclusive,” he said.
In her speech, Malaysia Unicef representative Marianne Clark-Hattingh said the race is for thousands of Malaysians and foreigners to run for a single common and noble course: Children with disabilities and their inclusion in our daily lives.
“We know sport is a healthy activity and has the power to unite all different kinds of people for fun , play and achievement.
“Children with disability often face stigma and discrimination. Through sports, we want to dispel our own fears and biased views to build a more inclusive environment for children with disabilities.
“Everywhere in the world, it takes time to challenge negative attitudes and practices towards these children.
It is a marathon, not a sprint and we need to stay the course to break down the barriers.”
She also said they are very excited to work alongside Sabah Tourism Board, Youth and Sports Ministry, Kota Kinabalu City Hall, State Police, State Health Department and State Education Department.
Meanwhile, the organiser as a gesture of commitment has waived the registration fee for persons with disabilities.
Money raised from the event will be donated to local non-profit organisations that work to improve the lives of disadvantage groups including children with disabilities in Sabah.
Also present at the launch were City Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai and other top officials from the various State departments including the Police as well as some OKU athletes. – GL Oh
Source: Daily Express