HSBC Unveils Josie Natori Singlet for 136th Anniversary Run

Reading contributes significantly to the development of strong analytical and critical thinking in adults and enables young students to find success in all subject areas. 
HSBC and the Sa Aklat Sisikat (SAS) Foundation believe that reading and education can bring empowerment and a chance for the next generation of Filipinos to be better-educated citizens, workers, and consumers.

The Sa Aklat Sisikat Foundation (SAS) is a non-profit professional Philippine organization that promotes the love and habit of reading in Filipino children.
Its vision is to build a nation of readers by working with public schools all over the country, and providing the resources for implementing a Reading Program designed to motivate Grade 4 students – many of whom are at risk of dropping out of school before high school – to make reading a part of their daily lives.
According to the Department of Education, students who have reached the fourth grade have made the shift from learning to read to reading to learn. At this level, they no longer have difficulty decoding words and sentences, and can now comprehend, interpret and appreciate the written word.
SAS aims to develop lifelong readers by capturing every child’s interest and imagination at this age, helping them discover the great rewards and the sheer pleasure of reading.
HSBC has been supporting SAS for the past eight years and their partnership has helped 650,000 students; 9,000 teachers; and 285 principals all over the country largely through two pioneering programs developed jointly by HSBC and SAS: the HSBC Principals Leadership Enhancement and Development (LEAD) Program (HSBC PLP) and Kinder College.
The HSBC PLP, which began in 2007, seeks to empower public school principals and develop their leadership skills so they can more effectively establish innovative learning communities. Plans are currently underway to make the HSBC PLP manual available to all public school principals in the NCR and eventually, nationwide. The HSBC Kinder College program, meanwhile, is designed to adequately equip preschool teachers with the proper skills, tools and mindset needed to transform their schools into progressive learning communities. Since its pilot in 2010, the HSBC Kinder College program has trained 150 kindergarten
To show its continued support to the program, HSBC has chosen the SAS as the beneficiary of the HSBC 2011 Anniversary Fun Run.
HSBC President and CEO Tony Cripps said: “We held our first run last year to celebrate a milestone—our 135th year in the Philippines.  We originally envisioned this as a one-time initiative, but the run was so successful and the demand overwhelming that we decided to make it a yearly event.
To make this year’s event even more memorable, HSBC has commissioned acclaimed international designer Josie Natori to design the race singlet for the Fun Run.
“When the news broke out that Josie Natori agreed to design this year’s singlet, it generated tremendous excitement in the runner community.  And in just a few weeks time we’ve almost reached our race’s 3,500-runner capacity,” Cripps added.
The race singlet design, which was debuted at a press conference held recently at the Makati Shangri-la features a distinctively stylized Japanese character (for the word “Natori”). It is inspired by her latest collection, “The Way of the Samurai.”
“I was very happy to contribute to an event that not only promotes fitness and health, but also helps a worthy foundation like SAS make headway in its work to improve the reading proficiency of children. Like HSBC and SAS, I strongly believe that reading should be part of every child’s life,” Natori said in a statement.
SAS Co-founder and Chairperson Lizzie E. Zobel said, “We are thrilled to have been chosen as HSBC’s beneficiary for this year’s run.  Our partnership with HSBC has been a long and productive one, and this latest show of support from them and Josie Natori will go a long way towards improving the quality and reach of public school education in the Philippines.”
The HSBC Anniversary Fun Run 2011 will take place on November 26, 2011 at the SM Mall of Asia grounds. The event will feature 3K, 5K, and 10K categories, while children 12 years old and below can participate in two 100-meter dash events.
“In addition to the great items we’re giving away, all registrants will also get the chance to join a special raffle draw where the lucky winner gets two Cathay Pacific round-trip tickets to London,” HSBC’s SVP and Head of Group Communications and Corporate Sustainability Johanna Garcia revealed.
For more details on the HSBC Anniversary Fun Run 2011 and to register online, please visit

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