Italy - 10th Race of Saints: solidarity in sport for Indian child brides

02 November 2017

(ANS - Rome) – "The Race of Saints" enjoyed a record 10th edition. First, the number of registered participants, up this year, exceeded 7,500 runners in the three different classes - 10 km for professional athletes; 10 and 3 km for amateurs. But also for the increased and growing attention the event has received from athletes, press and media, and the world of solidarity. An event that, as the Pope said after the Angelus, succeeds in offering "a dimension that is a popular celebration to the religious celebration of All Saints," and "combines the joy of sport with support for the less fortunate."

"It was an extraordinary day," said Paolo Scipioni, President of "Corsa dei Santi" amateur sports association, to Tuttosport, an Italian sports daily. "During these ten years, the number of participants has increased five-fold, making the Race of Saints one of Italy's most attended running events. A success we have obtained thanks also to partners, institutions and sponsors who've given us their trust and contributed in concrete terms to helping the missions of the DON BOSCO IN THE WORLD Foundation."

Also, this year the foundation drew attention to the cause and solidarity project dedicated to counteracting the phenomenon of child brides in the Indian state of Karnataka, where, as reported by the Commission for the Protection of Children's Rights of the same State, 23% of the entire country's early marriages involving child brides take place.

For years, the Salesians of the India-Bangalore Province - which includes the State of Karnataka - have been working to help girls being denied their childhood due to ancient social conventions and myopic economic advantages. To do so, the Salesians have established a program called “CREAM”, the Child Rights Education and Action Movement, and is being brought forward by “BREADS”, the Bangalore Rural Education And Development Society.

The DON BOSCO IN THE WORLD Foundation has worked on the issue alongside the Salesians in Bangalore and ONG BREADS to ensure that girls are guaranteed their rights, and through the development of programs for formation and education of those same fundamental rights, to make both the girls - and the communities they live in - aware of their rights and free.

Regarding the race itself, of note was the participation of Giusy Versace, the Paralympic athlete and television conductor, who inaugurated the event. "Sport is a wonderful opportunity for integration and it brings messages of energy, love and hope. I am happy to be the godmother of this initiative that has such a noble purpose," said the athlete in the press conference held the day before the race.

And for the record, two athletes from Kenya won in the two 10 km races for professional athletes. Elvis Kipkoech, of Run2gether, won in the men's class in 30 minutes and 29 seconds;, while Caroline Cherono, also of Run2gether, won the 10 km race in the women's class in 34 minutes and 25 seconds.

The photos of the race are available on ANSFlickr.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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