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MoBay City Run renamed in honour of late supporter Jill Stewart

Christopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer

MONTEGO BAY'S annual MoBay City Run has been officially renamed the Jill Stewart MoBay City Run, in honour of the late wife of Sandals Resorts International’s executive chairman, Adam Stewart, who was a major contributor to the programme before her passing in 2023.

The announcement of the programme’s renaming took place yesterday at the Holiday Inn Resort in Montego Bay during the official press launch of the event’s 2024 staging, which is, this year, geared at raising $7 million in support of tertiary-level students in western Jamaica.

“My wife believed in bringing people together through sport … she was a trained educator, and if you married sport with education, that was the foremost achievement that she could want in this life. To have this run named in her honour is probably the most humbling of anything I have endured,” Adam Stewart told the launch regarding his wife, who was a fitness instructor.

"I want to commit to you that we are going to continue to support this run because this run is awesome. It’s run by awesome people in the most extraordinary city of Montego Bay… and it feels to me every year, we get closer and closer to pulling together to make sure that we can lift this town up to the greatest and the best of its potential,” Stewart added.

The renaming of the MoBay City Run in honour of Jill Stewart comes six months after the launch of the Jill Stewart Sports Scholarship last September.

Jill, a longtime supporter of the MoBay City Run since its genesis in 2013 and multiple-time winner of the annual event’s 10k run prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, died in July 2023 after a year-long battle with cancer.

In a brief and emotional tribute during yesterday’s press launch, Janet Silvera, the founder and chairman of the MoBay City Run, said the decision to rename the charity run was done to honour the late educator’s passion for the development of others.

“Jill Stewart was more than just a runner. She was a beacon of hope, a source of inspiration, and a symbol of everything that MoBay City Run stands for. Her legacy will continue to inspire us to reach greater heights, to touch more lives, and to make a lasting impression on the world around us,” said Silvera.

“Today, as we gather to celebrate the renaming of our run, let us not only honour Jill’s memory, but also reaffirm our commitment to her vision, a vision of compassion, of solidarity, and of hope. Let us run with purpose, knowing that every step we take brings us closer to realising Jill’s dream of a brighter future for all,” Silvera charged.

The Jill Stewart MoBay City Run, which is currently in its eighth staging, has raised some $26.5 million in support of tertiary education since its inception.

Approximately 3,500 students across St James, Hanover, Westmoreland, and Trelawny have benefited from the charity run, which will be held this year on May 5 and will consist of a 5k walk, a 5k run, and a 10k run.