Record turnout for Diacore marathon

This year’s Diacore Gaborone marathon sponsored to the tune of P350,000 by Stanbic Bank Botswana, has attracted a record 5, 778 runners.

The bank is sponsoring the race, which takes place this Sunday, for a third year running.  “We are excited to partner with the marathon for the third year in a row and to grow this relationship even further. 

“Our focus this year is on the 21.1 kilometres,” said Stanbic Bank head of corporate and investment banking, Tasha Ferreira.  He said the bank would on Sunday reward the first man and woman Motswana athletes in the 21.1 km race with prize money of P5, 000 each.

Thabo Makgato, the public relations officer for the marathon, said 5, 778 runners have registered to participate, adding that it is the biggest registration ever.

“The annual event is divided into 42.2 km, 21. 1 km, 15 km and 4 km fun run. The marathon route remains the same as last year’s.  The marathon is used as a qualifier for  major races such as the Commonwealth Games.

Makgato said at the end of the race, athletes would undergo doping tests. The prize money for winners in both men and women’s section in the 42.2 km is an eye-catching P50, 000.  Meanwhile, the organisers of the marathon revealed that they are keen to financially assist the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA).  Makgato said they would assist BAA if the need arises.  Makgato told Mmegi Sport yesterday that organisations are at liberty to send proposals to the local organising committee if they need assistance.  He said they have not received any proposal from the BAA, but they will consider it if it reaches them. 

“We do not approach organisations because we do not want to be biased.  We hope BAA will send their proposal this year,” he said. BAA president, Moses Bantsi said it was the first time they learnt about the arrangement.  

He said if the organisers of the marathon had advised them about the proposal, they could have long sent it through.  He said the BAA was cash-strapped and welcomed any assistance. Meanwhile, Bantsi said the association is concerned that local marathon runners are failing to qualify for international competitions such as the Olympics. 

He said the association has embarked on a study to establish why Batswana are poor marathon runners.  He said the study would be completed in June. “You must be aware that local runners compete against foreigners who are used to running at different altitudes.

Foreigners compete in different marathon races while our runners are not exposed to such competitions.  “BAA is unable to send them to international marathons,” he said.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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