Francistown Readies for Marathon

| January 30, 2015

Francistown deputy mayor, Councillor Lechedzani Modenga, says the be Mobile Francistown Marathon is the right direction towards the city’s Vision 2022, which seeks to transform the city into an investment centre.

Speaking at the be Mobile Francistown Marathon Pitso that was organised for service providers on January 28, Cllr Modenga said the marathon was one of the projects that would attain the vision as it will be the biggest running activity north of Dibete.

He said the marathon would help attract investors to the greater Francistown and will help tap into the sports tourism, which is a growing sector in the tourism industry in the country. He said the event will not only attract athletes from other countries, but will also boost an opportunity for SMMEs and other service providers.

Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) head of communications and public relations, Keitumetse Setlang said sports tourism was a way to diversify the tourism industry in the country.

She said globally sports tourism generated millions. Setlang said the marathon will boost other industries such as transport, banks, hospitality and individuals. She appealed to the service providers to optimise the benefits.

She said through proper guidance, it is possible for service providers to benefit from the marathon and expressed hope that just like the Toyota Desert Race, the marathon will grow into an event that all stakeholders will pride themselves in.

Setlang said apart from the monetary benefits, the marathon will create awareness of Francistown. She applauded beMobile for becoming the first sponsors of this new event and expressed hope that the city is ready to host it.

The Local Organising Committee Chairperson, Ben Tobedza said it is expected that the marathon which is scheduled for February 15, will attract 1000 visitors.

Tobedza noted that the registration points for participation in the marathon are open in Francistown and Gaborone and will close on February 7. He explained that 30 volunteers were already assisting with the registration.

He further explained that although the race is expected to start at 0530hrs and finish at 1100hrs, a lot entertainment will take place starting from February 13 and 14. He said apart from the 5.5km, 10km, 21km and 42 km races, there will be a wheel chair race which will only be 5.5km.

Tshepiso Mganga of BTO implored the travel and tourism operators, accommodation facilities, transport, vendors and the corporate arena to take aantage of the marathon. Mganga said statistics indicates that the tourism sector is the fastest growing and can generate up P6billion annual.

She further said just like the famous Ultra marathon and the Comrades Marathon, the beMobile Marathon has potential of growing and profiling Francistown.

Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) Head of Corporate Communications, Tiro Kganela said the funds raised through registration fees will be donated to charity.

He said be Mobile sponsored the marathon in order to create opportunities for the people of Francistown. He further said be Mobile Marathon is the initiative between beMobile BTCL and Botswana Confederation Commerce Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM).

The theme of the marathon is “City Comes Alive”.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Sports

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