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The Catholic News’ 5K – bringing community together

The Catholic News (CN) inaugural Steps for Hope 5K and 1K Fun Walk on Saturday, May 11 is here. The paper, which is celebrating 132 years this year, is taking a novel approach to World Day of Social Communications, more commonly known as World Communications Day [May 12] 2024 bringing people together in a race.

“To meet one another, to reconnect with each other and to communicate by our very coming together the synodal priorities of community and inclusivity,” said Catholic Media Services Ltd (Camsel) General Manager Kathryn Tardieu.

World Communications Day was established by Pope Paul VI in 1967. It is an annual celebration that encourages us to reflect on the opportunities and challenges that the modern means of social communication (the press, motion pictures, radio, television and the internet) afford the Church to communicate the gospel message.

Pope Francis’ overarching theme for the observance this year is the importance of preserving human values and distinctiveness amid technological advancements. According to Tardieu “we desire that the lived experience of community and inclusivity of those present at the event, when shared over the various communications platforms, will be very powerful and uplifting.”

The theme of Hope was chosen as Camsel journeys with Church toward the 2025 Ordinary Year of Jubilee which is themed Pilgrims of Hope. “As Catholic media in Trinidad and Tobago, we want to celebrate the hope we experience in genuine human connections, uplifting stories of positive change, and in the unity experienced within our community. By choosing hope, we empower ourselves to overcome the challenges faced as we navigate through negative realities. As communicators in Trinidad and Tobago, opting for hope enables us to share that optimistic spirit with others.”

Five hundred runners including 100 children under 12 years will take part in the 5K and 1K respectively. Camsel’s Business Manager Camille Ramdial-Cumberbatch said, 500 was chosen for the first event but will be increased next year.

“To facilitate our getting the 500, we very effectively marketed our event on social media, television, print and radio. This was supported by the race organisers, Bafasports, directly marketing to their runners’ network using social media, direct emails, and messaging,” she said.

Through their joint efforts the race was oversubscribed and registration was closed on April 30.

The number was “extended a little above 500” to facilitate the inclusion of members of the Shepherd’s Cup group. Shepherd’s Cup is a series of annual events undertaken by the Archdiocese of Port of Spain through the Office of Youth Ministry aimed at the evangelisation of youth and their families through the dynamics of physical activity, teamwork, and the love of God.

Also among the participants are ten parishes, including Tobago, and staff from the Chancery. Ramdial-Cumberbatch added: “We have corporate entities like Maritime Financial Group and Trinidad Express newspapers registering staff members and a big family group titled ‘Bas Fit’ registering adults and children for the event”.

A very encouraging sign for the inaugural run/walk was the overwhelming interest in the 1K for children 12 years and younger. Ramdial-Cumberbatch stated, “This race was also fully subscribed, which shows that parents and guardians are willing to support their children in healthy activities, at the national level.” Over 41 sponsors are on board for the 5K/1K.

Ramdial-Cumberbatch said the sponsorship drive was a “true team effort” however she commended Sales Officer Michelle Lee, whose input secured most of the sponsors.

“Sponsors were inclusive of individuals and businesses throughout the country. Some are supporting us financially, while others are providing prizes on the day with hampers, gift bags, lunch kits, beverages, and gift certificates. We also have sponsors’ staff participating in the race and coming on the day to distribute giveaways and samples to our patrons,” she said.

Ramdial-Cumberbatch said Camsel is very thankful for and abundantly blessed by the level of support from individuals and corporate entities, nationally.

If you have registered for the 5K, you have contributed to keeping The Catholic News alive for all.
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