Tue | Apr 24, 2018

Keeping fit and giving back with Guardsman Games

Published:Friday | March 23, 2018 | 12:00 AMLatara Boodie/Gleaner Writer
Member of the 2017 Guardsman Games winning team, Neckeisha Walcott, with her daughter, Chloe-Rene Shaw, at the launch of the Guardsman Games 2018.
Nicarno Williams; Lyshon Davis, iDrade brand manager; and Debbie Bissoon at the launch of the Guardsman Games 2018 at Hope Zoo. Photos by Shorn Hector
From left: Tia Butler and Rachel Cross at the launch of the Guardsman Games 2018.
Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton (right) in conversation with Kenneth Benjamin founder of the Guardsman Group of Companies, at the launch of the Guardsman Games 2018.
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On Monday, the Serengeti at Hope Zoo hosted the media launch of one of the toughest competitions on the island, the Guardsman Games. Known for its arduous obstacle course and innovative ways to test one's endurance, the official media launch for the games saw coordinators, sponsors, and government officials in attendance.

The event commenced with a riveting opening and welcome from Lt Cdr George Overton, who gave an overview of previously held games. "We saw 240 participants competing in the team games challenge, we were also able to fly the Jamaican flag at the obstacle games championships," said Overton.

The Guardsman Games for this year was reduced to a one-day event due to the taxing nature of the activities. "People were split over the two days because after coming out in the boiling sun on Saturday then drenching rain on Sunday, we did not have the type of crowd that we would really enjoy," explained Overton.

The Guardsman Obstacle Challenge involves a 6K obstacle race as well as the Guardsman power games, which is a team event. This year, the Games will include a kiddies' obstacle course.

Proceeds from the games will benefit the Boys of Hope programme, the Bustamante Children's Hospital, and the ISupportJamaica and Kind Heart foundations, explained Chairman of the Guardsman Group The Hon Kenneth Benjamin. "These charities were chosen because we at Guardsman Group are dedicated to the development of our future generations," he said.

This year, The Guardsman Group has partnered with Trafalgar Travel and is promoting the games as a sports vacation for the North American market. "We have two packages which give a three- or one-week vacation in Jamaica with the ability to enter the games," said Overton.

"The Guardsman Games' organisers and sponsors must be commended for adding to the agenda of health and wellness through physical activity," said Minister of Health Dr The Hon Christopher Tufton, who pledged to take time from his official Government duties to be a part of this year's games. "I am here on behalf of the public-health agenda to say this is good for health," said Tufton

The Guardsman Games will be held on the 22nd of July and is promised to be an eventful family event.

latara.boodie@gleanerjm.com