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Ministry of Tourism Endorses ‘Run for Pompey’ Marathon

The Ministry of Tourism has thrown its support behind the ‘Run for Pompey’ marathon scheduled for the National Heroes Holiday weekend, October 9 – 12, 2015 on the island of Exuma.

The brainchild of Kevin Taylor, owner of DreamKatcher Media, the event is named after Pompey, a 32-year-old slave who in 1830 led a revolt against plantation owner British Lord John Rolle. The slave owner had declared that 77 slaves in Exuma would be transferred to Cat Island against their will. Pompey’s rebellion marked the birth of the freedom fight, and subsequently slaves were emancipated in 1838.

“Today, we are happy to partner with the organizers for the Run For Pompey race and congratulate them for undertaking this great initiative,” said Virginia Kelly, general manager of sports at Ministry of Tourism, during a press conference on Tuesday at BAF Financial & Insurance (Bah) Ltd.

“We expect this event to be the next big thing in Bahamian tourism and certainly one of the most authentic and meaningful highlights of the year, especially for the island of Exuma,” she said.

The Run For Pompey will cater to runners of all levels: a 5K Fun Run, a half-marathon, a full marathon and for the first time in The Bahamas a 50K or 31-mile Ultra Marathon. All races will finish in George Town’s Regatta Park.

BAF Financial & Insurance (Bahamas) Ltd. is the title sponsor of the Run for Pompey. Other sponsors are GIV Bahamas Inc., Grand Isle Resort & Spa, Bahamian Beverage & Brewing Company, Senor Frogs and

Bahamian Olympic Gold Medalist and IAAF Council Member Pauline Davis-Thompson is patron of the event.

“Over the past 24 months, The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism has embarked upon several bold and innovative marketing initiatives, both locally and abroad, which have proven economically viable and beneficial for us as a country. Many of these initiatives have been sports related,” Ms. Kelly said.

She noted that the ministry has partnered with some of the biggest and most influential sports entities and brands in America and around the world.

This, she added, is with “the objective of ensuring that our tourism product and destination visibly are strategically aligned and promoted prominently in marketplaces we seek, with the end result being – bringing visitors to our shores.”

Ms. Kelly said the Ministry of Tourism is happy to partner with the organizers of the Run for Pompey race and congratulates them for undertaking this great initiative.

“We expect this event to be the next big thing in Bahamian tourism and certainly one of the most authentic and meaningful highlights of the year, especially for the island of Exuma,” she said.

She added, “This event would encompass everything the world already knows about The Bahamas – our ‘sun, sand and sea’ brand but more importantly it is a perfect opportunity for us to further distinguish our unique, multiple islands while promoting our sports product, rich history and unparalleled culture, all of which makes The Bahamas one of the most sought after destinations in the world.”

According to Ms. Kelly, tourism’s deliberate marketing campaign to promote the ‘16 Islands of The Bahamas’ and simultaneously promoting their unique characteristics bodes well with the Run for Pompey race.

“Figuratively, Exuma is perhaps one of the most valuable real estate assets in The Bahamas,” she said. “It truly is the playground for the world’s rich and famous. Its crystal clear waters and stunning beaches, arguably – no doubt the prettiest in The Bahamas will serve as the ideal backdrop for these races and family fun-run in October,” she said.

She noted, however, that Exuma is also rich in history, legacy and culture, and that the ministry is elated the story of Pompey would be retold through the historic event.

“We are moreso excited however, for the many opportunities, that this event will provide, not only to our locals and industry partners, but for the thousands of visitors, who will travel to experience first hand, the true beauty of Exuma – its people, cuisine, nature and culture,” Ms. Kelly said.

The Ministry of Tourism is looking forward to the event being added to the annual sports tourism calender, she said.

Mr. Taylor said he and the partners and sponsors are very pleased the inaugural event is taking place on Exuma during the National Heroes Day weekend.

“The Run for Pompey will feature not only a great race day, but many opportunities for domestic and international visitors to enjoy all that Exuma has to offer. Whether it’s taking a dip with the world famous swimming pigs, learning about the history of Exuma through interactive cultural presentations, or just relaxing and connecting with new friends, the Run for Pompey is sure to have something special for runners and non-runners alike,” Mr. Taylor said.

I. Chester Cooper, president and CEO of BAF Financial & Insurance (Bah) Ltd., and an Exumian, said he was delighted to have his company be the title sponsor of the Run for Pompey.

“This is a most inspiring event, as Pompey was a leading figure in the fight against slavery,” he said.

All proceeds from the race will go towards an annual scholarship fund for a deserving student on Exuma. A portion of funds raised will also go toward the Exuma Branch of the Cancer Society.
Participants can log on to the website: to register.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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