• Currently in talks with BNSC on way forward
Organisers of the Gaborone Diacore Marathon are shaking off claims that they show little commitment to the development of local sport, using it only to make money from it
Diacore Marathon has since been labelled the biggest race for charity. All the proceeds from this event are taken to charities to help them push their mandates.
Diacore Gaborone Marathon spokesperson Thabo Makgato acknowledged the accusations but pointed out that they are doing all they can to help in sport development. He said their vision is to see local athletes excelling in the international arena.
“We are currently in a process of coming up with a programme through which we will be developing local runners in partnership with other stakeholders. At the moment we are in talks with Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) on how we can do this,” he said.
According to Makgato, they are yet to meet Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) on the matters as BNSC is the one which is facilitating the meeting. Nonetheless, he is adamant that the brainstorming meeting between PGM Foundation and BAA will be staged soon.
Makgato said it is the organisers’ dream to develop young athletes who can compete at world stage and finish in podium positions. “We are concerned that the Diacore Gaborone Marathon is always won by foreign runners, hence we see it fitting to come up with a programme that will help bring up strong athletes,” he said.
BAA spokesperson Rowland Masalila has confirmed on-going discussions with Marathon promoters.
“I can confirm knowledge of this. We once complained to them that we were partners in the marathon but they do not inject any funds into the development of the athletes. It has since been agreed in principle that we will start working together from next year even though we are still to meet and make an outline of the said programme,” said Masalila.
He said currently the country is not performing well in marathons and they are looking at coming up with ways of developing strong athletes in this field.
Makgato, however, justified that they have not been neglecting sport as they have been supporting some sporting codes in Botswana. He pointed out that they have they have been part of the sponsors for the Africa Youth Games that were held in Botswana in 2014. Diacore Gaborone Marathon has also been associated with the 2015 Gem Diamonds Kalahari Challenge.
Makgato explained that they help as in when their help is needed. He nonetheless assured that they will keep supporting the development of sport in the country. The marathon keeps growing each year, with the benefits also increasing. This year PGM has donated P1 000 000 to 22 selected organisations. Among these was Kalavango Volleyball Club, which Makgato said showed their commitment to sport development.