Despite the storm warning and possibility of inclement weather, thousands of runners and walkers of all ages and from all walks of life took to the streets in the annual colourful President’s Charity Fun Run, led by His Excellency George Abela. The event is the largest national philanthropic run, and has set the pace for so many other similar ones that take place during the year for different causes.
Organised in collaboration with the Malta Amateur Athletics Association, for the fifth year running it is being championed by Banif Bank (Malta) plc with the theme ‘Believe, Achieve, Succeed’, and proceeds go to the Malta Community Chest Fund. The Bank has been involved with the Presidency over the Fun Run from the event’s inception.
Athletes left San Anton Palace in Attard for the 7k jog, led by an energetic Dr Abela who took time to speak to participants young and old at the start line. Mrs Margaret Abela led the walk that left from in front of Casa Leone in Santa Venera. The indigo crowd thronged the main roads, to finish their marathon at St George’s Square in Valletta.
As in previous years members of parliament and other dignitaries joined the fray while a number of voluntary organisations like the Armed Forces of Malta and the Malta Red Cross made sure the event went smoothly. Led by Banif Bank Chairman Dr Michael Frendo and Chief Executive Officer Joaquim F. Silva Pinto, a large group of Banif employees and their families got involved in different ways, consolidating what really is a strong show of compassion and solidarity across the board. The Bank has donated hundreds of thousands in the past five years to this cause and the Fun Run is Banif’s largest social commitment. This year’s donation will be made during the upcoming Strina.
“The President’s Fun Run never disappoints!” said Mr Silva Pinto. “Every year it gives us an emotional kick, as we see the altruistic crowd gather, in an atmosphere of friendship and solidarity. I still remember the very first time I met with Dr Abela in 2008 when we discussed how we could come up with an initiative that would have national significance and that would bring the community together with a common aim. And that is how the Fun Run was born. Since then we haven’t looked back.”