BY DUNCAN KGANGKENNA
Organisers of the annual Orange Phikwe marathon have vowed to keep the marathon growing and attract more patronage.
The sentiments were shared director of legal and corporate affairs, Lepata Mafa-Nthomola at the launch of the 2019 marathon edition.
Mafa-Nthomola said since their involvement in the past three years they have been coming with ways to position the marathon as one of the major events in the country.
“Through our CSI we were are working with teachers in the Tswapong area, Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) and other stakeholders to develop young athletes to reach their potential. We expect teachers and other stakeholders we work with to identify youngsters whom we will assist to aid their career in athletics. We want to develop top athletes who will represent the country in international marathons and other races” Mafa-Nthomola explained their aspiration.
Orange will be sponsoring the marathon to the tune of P660 000 for the next three years.
Mafa-Nthomola observed that the local communities benefit a lot during the marathon. Hospitality businesses ranging from accommodation facilities are usually fully booked for the marathon. Small informal sector business also benefit through selling food items and other daily needs like airtime.
Orange Botswana views the marathon as a vehicle to support and nurture talent and also to add value to Batswana in general.
Public Relations and Digital Media Specialist at Orange Botswana, Mosarwa Molema, explained that Orange Botswana is committed to the development of sport in the country. “We want to see the youngsters that we are going to develop in the coming three years prosper and doing well in international stage and bringing glory to the country” Molema revealed. He said they want to sponsor the identified youngsters with the right equipment, their nutrition) and they will also pay for their flight tickets when they travel abroad.
The 2019 edition will introduce the 21.1km (half marathon) for the first time.
The marathon will be staged on the 14th of September in Selibe Phikwe. Over 1000 participants are expected to grace the marathon.
International runners are also billed to grace this year’s edition like the previous ones. Those who want to register for the marathon can do it online or visit the Orange outlets shops in various malls across the country.