Derek Haines is a synonymous figure in local rugby and running. This week he is proving that fact once again.
Haines is heading off to New Zealand on Tuesday, 4 October, for the Rugby World Cup. It is not quite a social call as he will be representing Cayman as the head of the Cayman Rugby Football Union. In addition he is in the midst of raising funds for another bus aimed at a community organization.
The Cayman Marathon is coming up in about two months and Haines states his focus is to reach out to the Cayman Hospice Care.
“I have now clocked over 1,900 miles towards training for the Cayman Marathon that takes place on Sunday, 4 December, over a figure of eight 26.2 mile courses,” Haines said. “I hope to raise funds towards the purchase of a vehicle for Hospice with any surplus going towards youth rugby. As you are all aware, Hospice is a local charity that provides excellent palliative care. Many of us have family or friends that have benefited from this vital service.
“As an incentive, for each pledge of $25 a guess of my finishing time can be made. There will be a first prize of six bottles of champagne for the closest guess. My fastest time is two hours, 59 minutes (25 years ago and not likely to be repeated in this lifetime) and last year I ran the same course in three hours, 55 minutes being again the first over 60 years-old home.
“Another form of sponsorship can be purchased and this is where the donor has the business name on the bus at $5,000 each. This is a one time payment and the logo remains in situ during the lifetime of the vehicle.”
In 2010 Haines took part in the marathon and raised $67,000, enough to purchase a 29-seat bus for Special Olympics Cayman Islands. Haines had help from Naomi Mitten, who joined the fundraising effort by taking part in the half marathon. The junior rugby programme also earned $15,000 as a result, which contributed to the success of the Under-19 team winning the Caribbean Championships for a third time in the last four years.
Haines states the success of last year’s efforts is spurring him on this year.
“Last year some $67K was raised that purchased a bus for the Special Olympic athletes thanks to the generosity of the Cayman public. Hopefully we can repeat the success this year.
“It is very important for the Hospice Care to have a bus. The staff, patients and family members need to be able to get to or provide medical assistance with minimum delay time. It has to be appreciated that the care and devotion shown by the Hospice staff benefits both the patient and family by providing support and comfort. The vehicle will be of a type that allows the patient to enter and exit it with minimum effort and have sufficient room for a wheel chair to be loaded by staff; Sports Utility Vehicle or similar.”
Haines is slated to be away in Kiwi land until the 26th where he will catch the finals. He states planning that trip with fundraising efforts for the Hospice Care bus and marathon training has not been easy.
“Fitting training in around a busy work and social schedule is most challenging but running to and from work helps tremendously as this gives me over 40 miles on the road before doing long runs at the weekend. I am pleased for myself and my colleagues that there is a shower at work though. Whilst I am generally lucky with my health, I have had to stop running for two weeks because of a chest infection and then a leg injury. Fortunately these set backs have happened now because if you encounter problems during marathon week all of the training can be for nought.
“For people who want submit donations for the Hospice Care bus, cheques can be made to the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman. I can be contacted at [email protected]”