Diacore Gaborone Marathon (DGM) has donated P15, 000 to the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) to help athletes prepare for local competitions.
BAA public relations officer, Ipolokeng Ramatshaba expressed gratitude to Diacore for their gesture, during a handover ceremony in Gaborone on Wednesday. BAA president, Thari Mooketsi said middle and long distance athletes are being trained every year in order to improve their performance, which will enable them to compete effectively outside the country. “They perform at different platforms be it local or international competitions. We have been working with DGM for a long time and they always assist us when we need help. The good part is that they engage with us time and again,” Mooketsi said.
He said as BAA, they do their best to groom more athletes with the help they receive from sponsors.
“I won’t call it sponsorship rather it’s a partnership since DGM has shown so much interest in the past decade and they are still by our side. DGM came up with this initiative six years ago for the passion and interest to support local athletes.” Furthermore, Mooketsi emphasised that 10 athletes are being provided with accommodation, food, clothing and transport for training and competition purposes.
“The athletes are the ones chosen by the DGM and the Athletics Board and the total amount of money spent on these athletes is P400, 000.”The IAAF rule is that only senior men and women, receive full funding and juniors are left behind.
“Having been involved for so long with the marathon, it has become very apparent to us that long distance running at a professional level is very much the underdog of local athletics and our goal is to work with BAA in order to see these elite athletes have their day in the sun. With proper training, diet and motivation, we have all confidence that Botswana can and will be able to produce runners who will conquer (in) races across the world.
Our runners have already shown impressive results in local races and it is now time for them to spread that success internationally with a particular focus on Tokyo 2020,” DGM marketing and public relations officer, Ed Kalo Ndebele said. Ndebele added that since the programme began in August 2016, DGM athletes have gone on to conquer in races held in Francistown, Jwaneng and Gaborone, as well as in Soweto where they competed against 22,000 of southern Africa’s finest.
The Diacore marathon will be held on Saturday at Tlhomadithotse in Palapye, starting at 2pm.