HONG KONG, 25 November 2012 — The Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF HK) held the seventh UNICEF Charity Run today at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. This year 13,200 runners responded to the call of “Believe In Zero AIDS, Make Zero Your Finish Line” and ran to support the cause of combating HIV/AIDS. The fund raised hits a record high of over HK$9 million and will be used to purchase ‘HIV/AIDS rapid diagnostic test kit’ for over 1 million mothers-to-be, so as to identify those living with HIV at earlier stage and prevent the transmission of the virus to their babies. Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Honourable Leung Chun Ying, UNICEF Representative to China Ms Gillian Mellsop attended the event to support the runners. Over 30 leaders of the town also showed their support by participating in the newly launched “3km Leadership Challenge” race.
UNICEF Charity Run 2012 is co-organised by UNICEF HK and Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association. The races include Half Marathon, 10km Run and 3km Fun Run, encompassing scenic spots including the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Inspiration Lake, costal area alongside Airport Express station and Sunny Bay. The number of runners this year topped 13,200 with renowned Hong Kong runners Ms Leung Ying Suet, Mr Gi Ka Man and Mr Lai Hok Yan. Mr Thomas Kiprotich, Men’s Half Marathon Overall Championship for four consecutive years and Ms Fan Sui Ping, Women’s Half Marathon Overall Championship last year also continued to support the race. Wheelchair runner Mr Samuel Ajmal once again overcame his physical challenges to support UNICEF’s fight against HIV/AIDS.
|To engage more leaders and celebrities of the town to care about children and families affected by HIV/AIDS, “3km Leadership Challenge” is launched this year. A total of 33 industrial and commercial leaders, including Mr Adrian David Li Man Kiu, Deputy Chief Executive of the Bank of East Asia, Mr Lau Ming Wai, Vice Chairman of Chinese Estate Holdings Limited and Mr Albert Chuang, Executive Director of Chuang’s Consortium International Ltd were invited to participate in the race. Besides, more families joined the Run this year as the enrollment quota of the 3km Family Fun Run has been increased. Youth aged between 11 and 15 also ran for the good cause.|
After completing all the races of the day, it was announced that runner Thomas Kiprotich won the Men’s Half Marathon Overall Championship (01’12’01), who is the winner for five consecutive years, while runner Michelle Lowry won the Women’s Half Marathon Overall Championship (01’19’44). Men’s and Women’s 10km Overall Champion were Gi Ka Man (00’32’52) and Mok Chi Ling (00’40’28) respectively.
The event today has raised over HK$9 million entirely for the UNICEF ‘Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS’ Global Campaign, contributing to the purchase of ‘HIV/AIDS rapid diagnostic test kit’ for over 1 million pregnant women. Chairman of UNICEF HK Ms Judy Chen shared good news with all the runners, “According to the latest figures released by UNICEF headquarters last week, the number of infants born with HIV every day decreased from 1,400 in 2007 to 900 last year. We are getting closer to Zero AIDS!”
|According to the latest figure, globally at least 900 babies are born with HIV every day and more than half of them are destined to die before age two if not diagnosed and treated. 3.3 million children under the age of 15 are living with HIV. The purchase of ‘HIV/AIDS rapid diagnostic test kit’ through fund raised in the event can provide blood tests for mothers-to-be in a simple setting without laboratory, and the result of HIV testing can be obtained as rapid as 20 to 40 minutes. If the mother is tested HIV-positive, UNICEF will provide her with care and treatment, so as to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.|
UNICEF Ambassador for China Ms Maggie Cheung who once visited communities and children hit hard by HIV/AIDS in Yunnan, appealed for public to learn, share and care about HIV/AIDS. “To learn not to be afraid of it. To share with others what you have learned, so that they understand they should not discriminate against people living with HIV. To care is showing our love and smiles to people living with HIV, so that they know we are all the same.”
|To continue to spread the belief in “Zero AIDS”, UNICEF Charity Run “Photo Contest” and “3km Family Run – Believe in Zero AIDS” Photo Movement are introduced this year. To enroll the activity, all runners can submit their photos taken during the event from 25 to 30 November on UNICEF Charity Run Facebook page (www.facebook.com/runforchildren) to register. On World AIDS Day, 1 December, submitted photos will be published for public voting. By 14 December, 10 photos with most “likes” will enter the final round of selection.|
Please click here to download the photos in the press release
Official results of all races will be posted from 3 December 2012 onwards on the UNICEF Charity RUN 2012 website :