June 5, 2012 | last updated June 5, 2012 4:14 pm

Cigna lays extra skin on Calhoun’s Sat. cancer walk

University of Connecticut basketball coach Jim Calhoun and Bloomfield health insurer Cigna Corp. have upped the ante for walkers in this weekend's cancer fund walkathon in Simsbury.

A co-sponsor of the annual Jim Calhoun Cancer Challenge Ride and Walk, Cigna is offering, on top of its $20,000 sponsor contribution, to donate 50 cents for each calorie a limited number of walkers burn in Saturday's 11:30 a.m. 5K walk at the Simsbury Performing Arts Center. The challenge also includes choices of a 75-, 50-, 25-, or 10-mile cycling route.

The challenge is part of Cigna's "gamification" initiative – using electronic devices and online tools as an engaging, interesting and fun way to help people improve their health.

Cigna CEO David Cordani, an avid runner, plans to participate in Saturday's event, the company said.

Cash walkers will be chosen on a first come/first serve basis. The Calhoun Challenge walk will follow registration 7 to 11:30 a.m. registration.

"I hope our walkers can burn at least 10,000 calories – a highly attainable goal. If they do, that effort will add another $5,000 to Cigna's current generous $20,000 sponsorship contribution," Calhoun, himself a cancer survivor, said in a statement Tuesday. "Every calorie and every dollar counts!"

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