In a fortnight, Standard Chartered Bank will launch its annual virtual relay race, dubbed the Greatest Race on Earth (GROE), in Nairobi, Kenya.
Addressing the media at a press conference held at the News Caf├®, Standard Chartered Head of Legal & Compliance, Thato Mmile, said that the race, which is in its third year, is already the event with the highest prize pool in the history of athletics ÔÇô a whopping US$1.5 million.
“The philosophy behind the GROE is not to win but to participate, to have the courage to run the race of your life, to put all your determination behind anything you undertake and to go the distance with a strong team working in partnership,” explained Mmile.
On his part, the CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, Nigel, said that the Botswana Athletics Association had put together a team of four Batswana this year.
He said the combining of four standing marathons to create virtual relay is still only being done by Standard Chartered Bank. He further explained that the relay extends across four countries namely: Kenya, Singapore, India and Hong Kong.
“This race is still the Greatest and the most difficult in the world due to the highly varied conditions of each race,” said Nigel, adding that the shortest combined time of all four runners determine the winners.
Botswana’s result last year was impressive, said Nigel. Botswana athletes clocked in fourth in the Africa Nations Challenge, behind Kenya, Zimbabwe and Uganda.
“This is no mean feat considering our athletes were competing with the world’s best such as the Kenyan runners, who are well known for their dominance of international marathons,” said Nigel.
The four athletes to compete were named as Orometse Nthupisang, Kutlwano Ratshosa, Mosebi Mosebi and Tlotlo Seagateng, all from the Prabhu Consumer Banking Team.
Nigel stated that the staff race does not offer monetary rewards other than the reward of realizing one’s potential by applying discipline, dedication, determination and courage. He said the runners are also discovering hitherto unknown countries and running alongside the best in the code.
“The marathons characterize the values and attitude that Standard Chartered believes in, and lives by everyday which is a ‘can ÔÇô do’ attitude, a priority on strength of trust, willpower, stamina and the determination to ‘go the distance’,” he added.
Nigel concluded his remarks by saying that their (Standard Chartered Bank’s) commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), including the Bank’s global initiative ‘Seeing is Believing’, meant that every step raised money to help make a different in people’s lives.
“The proceeds will go towards our Group CSR project to restore sight to 10 million people across the globe.”