11 Feb 2018 13:10pm
CORRECTION: Changes date in intro to 23 June 2018
SWAKOPMUND, 07 FEB (NAMPA) - Namibia will host the African Union Sport Council (AUSC) Region Five marathon for the next four years, with the first event set to take place here on 23 June 2018.
Chairperson of the Local Organising Committee, Jo-Ann Manuel, announced at a media conference here on Wednesday that the marathon route of 42.2 kilometres was certified by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) last year.
She said the same event took place on the same route last year and the idea is to re-apply for the certification and continue hosting beyond 2021.
AUSC Region Five is made up of Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Malawi was the first to host the marathon in 2015 followed by Mozambique in 2016.
Last year, only Namibia, Malawi and Botswana participated. We however wrote a strong letter to the AUSC requesting the participation of all member states this year, said Manuel.
She used the opportunity to ask the private sector and business people in Namibia to assist Government in sponsoring the event during the four years the country will be hosting the event.
This is a good initiative because the route can also be used by athletes from other countries to participate and qualify for international championships such as the Rio de Janeiro marathon.
Apart from the marathon and the five kilometres fun walk we are also trying to see which other codes we can add, Manuel said, adding that the marathon is open to anybody interested in participating.
The top five participants will receive prize money which is still to be announced. Registration opened on Wednesday along with the training for participants.
Manuel said the closing date for entries is yet to be decided.
The event will be a partnership between the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service, the Namibia Sports Commission and the Namibia National Olympic Committee.