BOSTON, April 15, 2015 /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 350 students from Boston Public High School track teams participated in the event which included stretching, a sprint relay and interaction with elite marathoners.
After dynamic stretching and core strengthening instruction led by Greg Meyer, winner of the 1983 Boston Marathon, and Bill Rodgers, who won the Boston Marathon in 1975, 1978, 1979 and 1980, nine BPS high school teams participated in the third annual Friendship Sprint Medley Relay.
In total, seventy-two student athletes competed in the Friendship Sprint Medley Relay. There were separate races for boys and girls, and the winning teams received trophies presented by Boston Marathon 2012 Champion Wesley Korir.
James D. Gallagher, general counsel and chief administrative officer, John Hancock, told the students, "John Hancock, in partnership with the city and the BSA, host this event so you, as runners and school leaders, feel connected to the Boston Marathon and our athletes. Every year we leave here energized by your enthusiasm and talent."
"The Boston Marathon has proven to be the best of who we are as a community and Scholars and Stars represents those values," said Mayor Walsh. "I congratulate all of the young people involved in this year's event and John Hancock for their commitment to our future."
"The Boston Scholar Athletes helps improve student academic achievement through participation in athletics," said John Fish, founder, Boston Scholar Athletes, and chairman and CEO of Suffolk Construction. "Introducing our scholar-athletes to these world-class athletes provides an incredible opportunity for these students and shows them that success can be achieved with focus, hard work and determination."
Added Boston Scholar Athletes Executive Director Rebekah Salwasser, "It's a special occasion when we have the opportunity to introduce our students to such remarkable role-models. These elite marathon runners represent some of the most physically fit and mentally-tough athletes in the world. Their grit is something we strive to instill in our Zone members. I'm so happy that we can all be a part of this wonderful day and our talented young people are at the center of it all."
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.
About Boston Scholar Athletes (BSA)
Boston Scholar Athletes', under the umbrella of Scholar Athletes, also operating in Springfield as Springfield Scholar Athletes (SSA) mission is to reduce the opportunity gap for public high school students by supporting academic achievement through athletics. This focus is based on the proven link between athletic participation and positive academic performance. BSA offers students safe, school-based learning centers called Zones, complete with technology and resources, where they can study and finish their homework during the day and after school. Zones are managed by full-time, fully-trained Zone Facilitators to provide academic coaching and mentoring. BSA offers students college guidance and SAT prep classes, opportunities to improve their health and wellness by participating in intramural sports, and scholarships that help students attend college. These collaborative efforts build skills and confidence, shape character, and enhance opportunities for success.
For more information visit, www.WeAreScholarAthletes.org
About John Hancock Financial and Manulife
John Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife in Canada and Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, our group of companies offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners.
Assets under management by Manulife and its subsidiaries were C$691 billion (US$596 billion) as at December 31, 2014. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSA, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife can be found on the Internet at Manulife.com.
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 johnhancock.com.
SOURCE John Hancock Financial