Chefette Fun Run for Aunty Olgas Needy Children Fund

Chefette Fun Run for Aunty Olgas Needy Children Fund – Sunday 11th June, 2017

By Esther Austin

Once again the community of Barbados took to the roads on a rather hot and muggy Sunday afternoon to support a very worthy cause This fantastic community event provided Chefette and its co-sponsors the chance to continue the legacy of the late Dame Olga Lopes-Seale.

esther-fun-children esther-run

The Chefette Restaurants Fun Run provides donations towards the Aunty Olga’s Needy Children Fund  for needy children in Barbados and monies donated are used to purchase school supplies and other items which are essential for children in need.

So being better than staying at home watching CBC and eating the usual rice, peas and chicken downed with nice sugary malt – great recipe for in-die-gestion many took to the streets to have fun whilst raising money for a worthy cause.

I met my friend Veronica at her home, where she kindly fed and watered me.  I’d already had a lovely yet active morning.  I’d gone down to Pebbles beach to swim with the horses from the Garrison and ended up canoodling and flirting with them getting lots of hugs and whispering sweet nothing in their ears.  Sorry guys but I have a thing for horses.   Anyways, I digress slightly.

So after filling my belly up we drove down to the Chefette at Rockley which was the starting point.  The end point was yep another …yes you guessed…..Chefette at Fontabelle a 7.5 km walk or run.  As everyone congregated getting ready for the event to commence, the air was musically sprinkled with socca blazing its riddim.  As I rounded the corner I was met by a sea of yellow.  Glad I had bought my sun-glasses I mused. Yellow tee-shirts in all shapes and sizes and well, well, well some were much styled and at that point I wished I’d put a rip somewhere in mine (as many of you know I am very much into INDIVIDUALTY at all costs).


However today – I blended and merged like a wisp of wind amidst the sea of calm yet excited yellows, as bottoms bobbed up and down to the socca tunes, and mother’s rocked babies back and forth in their prams in anticipation, children chatted excitedly about anything and nothing at all, the older folk gabbled and geesed with each other as if they were at a “meet-yer-mate” over 60’s social. You could tell those who were runners, as they were already assembled on the starting line, as if they were at the flipping Olympics, show-orrrfss. Not talking to anyone, and constantly pivoting around doing warm-ups, in that poised position those athletes assume before the gun fires.  I decided I was walking this out as I had already gone for a swim in the morning and I didn’t want to end up using up the little reserves I had by trying to run the race, only to fall flat on my face from dehydration ending up on the front page of the tabloids the next day.  My sons would never let me back in the house again after this for the shame it would bring on the family name.

The gun or was it a whistle or a wave of a flag ensued.  I can’t quite remember as I was a little excited by now and all sense of being present had momentarily disappeared but I do know that the runners at the front were off. We walkers waited patiently.  At the back note, at the back.   Nope we were not contending on any level with the runners, sprinters or Olympians as I am sure they were going to try to finish the race before ours started.  Show orrrfsss.  Now it was our turn, and we took off.  It was a lovely walk and I managed to capture some incy wincy interviews with people along the way – even those who were too stunned to say more than a few syllables – Camera in yer face fright mode.

I also managed to capture many historical images as I did a mixture of trotting and walking fast trying to look all official with camera in hand as I weaved and meandered between folk walking fast and painful, others walking painful and fast, whilst others were walking as if Hurricane-Hurry-Up was a coming.  Images of Barbados capturing a bit of the old, a bit of the new and a bit of the in-between.  Children weaved casually and not annoyingly (thank heavens) in between the crowd.  People who for some reason were not taking part ushered us on with a wave, sometimes cheerful sometimes not.  I surmised the “not’s” were not happy because the roads had been shut off to accommodate us.  Get grab yer-self a Banks Beer and a bike I wanted to shout.


Everyone was out to support this worthy cause, mothers and their prams, fathers with their prams (well not literally the prams obviously belonged to their children, but some people never really grow up do they – I hear the men in Barbados are very much mummies boys???? anyway let me move on before I get cussed in Bajan Patois and my passport revoked.  There were people who were obviously seasoned folk in their 70’s and 80’s but who looked incredibly fit and “wholistic” and who wore a wonderful look of pride and achievement in their smiles.


I came into contact with humor along the way, well I thought it was funny – and although in pain and trying to smile bravely through it – indeed one gentleman (who you can see in this video, still proceeded to limp his way along with a smile.  I raised my hand gallantly to him and ushered him on his way with the hope of that indeed an oxygen mask would be waiting for his rather “young-self” upon his final limp to the finishing line.

I also met Captain Rum Punch along the way and a rather large Squirrel who I am sure was incredibly hot and flustered inside his “I’m-Going-To-Roast-My-Nuts-Off-In-Here.”  You can see all of this in the video link

Upon arriving at the finish point, my feet wearily hissed at me a vote of confidence that they could possibly do another ten minutes.


That’s me dragging myself over the finish line in the cap

I weaved and meandered my way through a weary crowd, who were gathering lots of great goody bags and munching on little itsy bitsy tasters.  Prizes were given out for the first and the last, seniors and juniors, teams and corporate sponsors.  Then the entertainment commenced, the crowd, well some of the crowd, well a very small minority of the crowd found the reserves to jump up a lickle and wuk up a lickle  but I guess the day proved to be a little too much physically for many.

Myself and my friend Veronica then decided to head home, trying not to limp and holler and scream, as this would not do our reputation any good, as we walked into a dreamy and quiet Bridgetown – the only people around were a few vendors and drunks staggering their way to no-where land and a few taxi drivers.  There were stragglers of walkers who had taken part in the event easily identifiable by their – yess their yellow tee-shirts.

We stopped to grab an ice-cream at guess where? ….Chefette and ambled to get the ZR van reflecting on the day and feeling very content but achy.

I hope to join up and hopefully run next year – looking to top up with Omega 3,6 and 9 and get a couple of screw on joints, that should do it for me really but whichever way or however I take part next year – the main thing is its all for a worthy cause.  Hmmmm…maybe I will show up in a Mongoose suit next year and see how I do in the heat.

A good day seemed to be had by all.  Great achievements made.  The young and the old, people of all shapes and sizes, families, singles and couples – The song we are family comes to mind – not only to celebrate but to commemorate and to support.

I guess this is what they mean when they say it takes a village to raise a child.

To view video footage of the day click here

For more details about Aunty Olga’s Needy Children Fund click here: