Hundreds seen to join Davao 6K run for Japan

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/16 April) – Between 500 and 1,000 running enthusiasts and fitness buffs here are expected to give their share of relief to the already mounting loads of international aid to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan last month when the 6K Run for Japan hits the road on April 17.

At least 200 runners have already signed up for the event organized by the Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai International School and Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku (Mindanao International College).

Organizing committee chair Ines Mallari, PNJKIS administrator, said the event would be a great opportunity for Davaoenos, who are recipients of assistance from Japan over the years, to express their support to the Japanese people at this time.

“No matter how small we can raise from the run, it’s the intent of showing our support to the Japanese that really matters,” Mallari said in the weekly Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum.

The run will start from the Rizal Park and end at the PNJKIS in Lanang. It has a registration fee of P250 inclusive of race shirt, race bib, finisher’s certificate and a light snack.

Proceeds of the run, according to Mallari, will go to the Northeastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund of the Nippon Foundation, a non-profit philanthropic organization formed in 1962.

The Fund aims to provide both immediate and middle- to long-term support to ensure full recovery of the disaster-stricken areas.

“We have decided to channel the proceeds to Nippon Foundation as it has experience working with local partners to provide support after disasters,” said Mallari referring to the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995, the Mid Niigata Earthquake of 2004 and the Noto Peninsula Earthquake of 2007.

The fundraising activity is the second effort of the PNJK and the MKD to show support and sympathy to the people of Japan where more than 27,000 have been killed or gone missing after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

Last month, the students, faculty and administrators offered prayers and flowers for the Japan earthquake and tsunami victims.

Mallari said most Japanese establishments and agencies in this city will send participants to the event that expects to draw 500 to 1,000 runners.

A few days after the killer earthquake and tsunami, Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte offered to send a team of Central 911 personnel, at the city’s expense, to help in the search and rescue efforts in Japan.

Duterte said the offer is the city’s expression of solidarity and gratitude for all the assistance that the Japanese government has extended to Davao through the years.

Two months ago, the Datu Uchida Development Foundation Inc. (DUDF) threw its all-out support again to the development of baseball at the grassroots level here.

For the past six years, DUDF with the support of Japanese companies and Rotary Clubs conducted the Davao Baseball Cup, a school-based tournament for this city’s elementary and secondary students, and donated baseball equipment to public schools.

DUDF sports director Yusuke Uchida said that it was his grandfather Tatsuo Uchida, a recipient of the Datu Bago Award in 2002, who thought of reviving the interest of Dabawenyos in baseball since it is not as popular as basketball. (Rico Biliran/MindaNews).