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Another exciting bikeathon on way
Adrian Frater, News Editor
AT LEAST 60 riders with ties to the Jamaica Cycling Association will be among the more than 180 cyclists slated to participate in the 'Bikeathon Jamaica Challenge '08', which will be staged on Sunday, April 20.
The event, in its 13th year, will feature professional riders, amateurs and children and will span a 75-kilometre course from the Fairview Shopping Centre in Montego Bay to Lucea, Hanover, and back.
"We are expecting another exciting bikeathon as several of Jamaica's top cyclists, including a number of national represen-tatives, will be on show," said Noel White, the chairman of Bikeathon '08, while addressing Tuesday's launch in Montego Bay. "Last year we had 188 participants and this year we are expecting closer to 200," he said.
According to White, this year's event, which will again feature three categories - Professional/Amateur, Amateur and Children - will see the children's segment broken up into various age categories to facilitate greater competition and more scope to be successful.
"The Pro/Am will cover the full 75km, the amateurs will ride 25km Montego Bay to Great River and back, while the children ride a 5km circuit within the Fairview Complex," said White.
He said this year's objective of the bikeathon was to raise about $1 million.
The funds would be used to provide ongoing financial assistance for young persons who were not able to complete their education because of lack of money.
"Last year we provided 445 bursaries and we plan to double that this year," said White. "Over the past four years we have awarded scholarships to the tune of J$41.5 million to students from St James, and this has made a tremendous impact on their lives."
In endorsing Bikeathon '08, nutritionist Rosalee Brown, who was guest speaker at the function, said biking was an ideal way to stay fit.
"Cycling reduces body fat and increases muscle mass," said Brown. "It will help us to live longer and enjoy a better quality of life."
In addition to the cycling, there will be other attractions, including a bounce-about, merry-go-round and a motor show at the finishing line at the Fairview Shopping Centre.