John Hancock Brings Together 300 Boston Public High School Track Athletes and Boston Marathon Elite Marathoners for Scholars & Stars Event

9 Schools Compete in Second Annual Friendship Sprint Medley Relay

Apr 16, 2014, 15:00 ET from John Hancock Financial

BOSTON, April 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Boston Marathon principal sponsor John Hancock, in partnership with the Boston Scholar Athletes (BSA) program and the Boston Public Schools, today hosted Scholars & Stars in Boston at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center. More than 300 students from Boston Public High School track teams participated in the event.

After dynamic stretching and core strengthening instruction led by Bill Rodgers, four-time winner of the Boston Marathon, and Greg Meyer, the last American to win the Boston Marathon, the second annual Friendship Sprint Medley Relay was run.

Seventy two student athletes, representing nine Boston public high schools, competed in the second Friendship Sprint Medley Relay. There were separate races for boys and girls, and the winning teams received trophies presented by Boston Marathon Women's defending champion Rita Jeptoo. 

"The Boston Marathon connects everyone it touches in the spirit of competition, camaraderie and community," said James D. Gallagher, executive vice president, John Hancock. "We are proud to partner once again with the Boston Scholar Athletes program and the Boston Public Schools to introduce Boston Marathon elites and legends to this talented group of students." 

"Our Boston students are the future of our City, and we have to instill a message that success also depends on hard work, ambition, and wellness," said Mayor Walsh. "The Boston Scholar Athletes program is a fantastic opportunity for our kids, and I know this day is one they will remember."

"The Boston Scholar Athletes helps drive student academic achievement through participation in athletics," said John Fish, founder, Boston Scholar Athletes, and chairman and CEO of Suffolk Construction. "Exposing our scholar-athletes to these world-class athletes makes a huge impression on these young people because it shows them they can achieve greatness with focus, hard work and ambitious dreams."

Friendship Sprint Medley Relay participants received free running spikes and all participants received a program-themed bag of running-related items.

In addition to Scholars & Stars in Boston, John Hancock conducts many community initiatives in conjunction with the Marathon, including the Scholars & Stars in Hopkinton at Elmwood Elementary School in Hopkinton, and the John Hancock Boston Marathon Non-Profit Program, which in 2013 raised more than $7.9 million for local community organizations.

About Boston Scholar Athletes (BSA)
The BSA was launched in the summer of 2009 in collaboration with the City of Boston and Chairman and CEO John Fish of Suffolk Construction with the goal of increasing opportunities for Boston Public School scholar-athletes to achieve academic success through athletics.  BSA Zones are staffed by trained facilitators and offer students in grades 9-12 a place to study, access resources, and receive tutoring for free.  For more information, visit

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial Corporation
John Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife Financial, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$599 billion (US$563 billion) as at December 31, 2013. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at

The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers and administers a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, investments, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at

SOURCE John Hancock Financial