First challenge attracts more sponsors

For the first time since initiating charity challenges, enthusiastic runner and fundraiser Joel Melanie said he was amazed to see sponsors at the finishing line to personally bring their contributions to the cause.

He was speaking following the successful completion of his first run in the ‘We all have Dreams’ charity challenge on Sunday and all funds raised will to assist University of Seychelles student Samirah Sally with a prosthetic arm.

The first run – a half-marathon (21km) – in the series of three began at Stad Popiler and the runners headed east up to L’Escale Resort Marina & Spa where they turned and headed towards the Glacis district administration office – via Persévérance – where it ended.

Other than Runners of Charity – a group he set up to bring more flare to the activity – Mr Melanie gained the support of members of the two Glacis-based football teams, precisely Northern Dynamo and Glacis FC, who joined in half-way through the challenge.

It is to note that Miss Sally is a Glacis resident.

Compared to previous challenges, Mr Melanie described Sunday’s run as quite tough as it ended uphill.

He, however, noted that he is in better shape and better prepared to take up the next two challenges, than he was last year.

In an effort to bring more transparency to the challenge and also build people’s confidence in what he is dong, Mr Melanie said he will create proper bank accounts for each project in which potential sponsors can directly make their contributions.

Initially scheduled for Sunday April 17, the second run of the series has now been pushed forward to Saturday April 16. This is because April 17 is Easter Sunday.

For the challenge, the athletes will run from Stad Popiler up to Pointe Larue, then back to the starting point.

As was the case for the last event of the last challenge, for this year’s project, the last run will also begin at Stad Popiler and finish at the Anse Royale district administration office.

Other than helping Miss Sally, the money raised through the ‘We all have Dreams’ challenge will go towards two sculpture projects, portraying two individuals who have contributed greatly towards the country.

The first sculpture will be to honour former track and field athlete Danny Beauchamp, who always defended the Seychelles’ colours with verve and determination.

On July 4, 2004, Beauchamp's athletics career ended when he was involved in a road accident which rendered him paraplegic, and although he made every effort to overcome his disability, he was never able to walk again. He died on November 12, 2010 at the North East Point Hospice. He was 41 years old.

The other sculpture will honour Mr Melanie’s mother who did not know how to read and write, until in her late 50s when she started to follow literacy programme (progranm alfabetizasyon) and later on taught others how to write in Creole and English and count.

Mrs Melanie went on to become a well-known writer and she is considered a pioneer in Seychellois Creole literature.

Through the sculpture, Mr Melanie wants everyone, especially the youths, to understand that it is never too late to learn something new.


Roland Duval