INDEPENDENT NEWS

Accor Crosses The Fundraising Finish Line In Fiji

Published: Mon 13 Nov 2006 03:34 PM
Accor Crosses The Fundraising Finish Line In Fiji
NOVEMBER 13 2006: Exhausted but elated competitors sweated it out on the fifth and final day of Accor Hotels ‘Race to survive’ endurance event to raise money for the Cure Kids Fiji charity.
Seventy two competitors from Fiji, Australia and New Zealand were cheered across the finish line on Friday by grateful children and supporters after completing the five-day endurance race which to date has raised in excess of FJ$251,000, with monies still coming in. Last Sunday, most were strangers but they chose to cross the finish line together, no longer as 12 individual teams but as Kolinio Temo, Team Captain of Fiji Time said "we came home together, as one Village, we came home together for the children".
‘Race To Survive’ spokesperson Sonya Rossiter said
“our competitors have donated their time, energy and money for this event but have been rewarded with sun, smiles and support from international guests in Fiji and from the people of Fiji.”
“After months of training and fundraising, our 12 teams have been stretched to their physical limits over a strenuous course involving swimming, mountain biking, outrigging and running. It was a true inspiration to see both the smiling faces and tears of joy as they crossed both the fundraising and finish line together.”
Participants started the race at the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa on Monday November 6 with many arriving en masse from overseas.
“Prior to the start of Race to Survive we spent a day training a number of the international competitors on outrigging anconcluded with a visit to the Paediatric Ward at Lautoka Hospital. They are a primary recipient of Cure Kids contributions and now receive basic life-saving medicines, equipment and education for Fijian medical staff,” said Ms Rossiter.
“This truly brought home to everyone what Accor’s ‘Race to Survive to Cure Kids’ is all about – the future of children in Fiji.”
Day one began with a 9km run in about 35 degrees which was directly followed by a 2km ocean swim. It was a personal first for a number of the local Fijian competitors who had only just started swimming in the last three months. Everyone then had to get on their bikes for a serious bike ride.
The second day saw competitors endure another 20 kilometre mountain bike, heading off from Accor’s Mocambo Hotel through beautiful but challenging terrain with support all the way from locals and school children gathering roadside for a look at the curious cyclists.
Teams then left Vuda Point for a three hour outrigging journey to Vomo Island. This time it was a personal first for a number of the international competitors who were given ample support and direction by the experienced competitors from Fiji.
Day three was another run followed by a sea swim in the beautiful waters around Vomo Island. Despite having little sleep, that evening, visitors enjoyed an impromptu Kava session, meke welcome and numerous Fijian games on the beach until the small hours. Choppy sea conditions and a 5am start greeted racers on day four before a outrigging sprint race to the smaller island of Vomo Lailai.
It was then back to the mainland and once more on to their mountain bikes where a serious pace was set. The highlight for many was returning to the Mocambo Hotel where they were greeted by over 100 cheering and singing children from Nadi Airport School.
The final day of competition has included a 14km mountain bike to Denarau, 1.5 km ocean swim before concluding with the final run to finish together, in style at the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa.
The Accor network of hotels and resorts in Fiji - which includes the Mercure Hotel Nadi, Mocambo Hotel, Vomo Island Resort managed by Sofitel and the Sofitel Fiji – teamed together to bring to life Accor’s Race to Survive to aid Cure Kids Fiji.
The money raised will fund life-saving initiatives, medicines, equipment and medical staff training via an ongoing visiting doctors programme in Fiji.
For more information, race event updates or to make a donation please visit www.curekidsfiji.com.
ends

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