The annual Mmadinare 10 km Christmas Race celebrates 18 years this year, and the country’s top athletes are expected to grace the occasion. The race that started in 1989 was a big hit in the country only to wane a bit the following years. Organisers of the race have vowed that this year’s race will be spectacular because many sponsors have come on board. One of the race organizers, Ipolokeng Ramatshaba, told Sunday Standard: “Our race has been there for a long time and stood the test of the times. This year’s race is even going to be fantastic and I am urging people from all corners of not only Mmadinare but Botswana, to come in their numbers and keep themselves fit.”
Among the sponsors are Trans Africa, Barloworld and Barclays Bank of Botswana. Trans Africa and Barclays have provided 200 t-shirts apiece while Barloworld has made available a variety of merchandise. Ramatshaba also said local businesses like Megaleng Phone shop and Maphoka Bar and Bottle Store donated more than 100 t-shirts. He would not divulge more information on the prize money, but he said those athletes that are going to come top are going to get something. One of the organizers, retired army general Arnold Moseki is reported to be sponsoring the beauty pageant preceding the race. In addition Moseki has donated a cow that will be slaughtered during the race. Ramatshaba, who is the former public relations officer of the Botswana Athletics Association, also thanked the Member of Parliament for Mmadinare, Ponatshego Kedikilwe. He said Kedikilwe is the brain behind several of the sponsorships they acquired this year. He said as the Member of Parliament he is leading by example. “If it was not for Kedikilwe we would not have got several of the sponsorships we have. He has played a vital role and we are thankful for that. Kedikilwe has also been with this race just from its inception in 1989 and even today he is still active,” he said.
Ramatshaba also said high powered village officials will be invited to the event. The maximum distance for the race is 10 km. Veterans and the young ones will cover only 5km. The Mmadinare race used to attract the country’s top athlete. Some of them were Neo Mark, Kwata Sera, the late Jalopi Kabainaya and Kabo Gabaseme. Apart from the race, there will also be football tournaments that run throughout the festive season. Several of renowned football players always head for the tournaments that attract large crowds.