Sport development has become Diacore Gaborone Marathon organisers’ focus as they launch their athlete development programme. The Diacore Gaborone Marathon Athlete Programme which is aimed at developing local athletes will be launched on 13th October, 2016. According to information from the organisers, the programme includes 10 elite long distance Batswana runners. Under the programme, the runners will be housed in an athlete’s house supported by the Diacore Gaborone Marathon. They are provided with food, amenities, nutritional supplements and a daily high level training program formulated by an elite coach.
Diacore Gaborone Marathon PR Manager Thabo Makgato said the objective of this athlete programme is to grow the event and get into developing better runners for the nation. “The programme is unlike any that has ever been created in Botswana for long distance running and represents massive growth in public/private partnerships. A model that we hope other institutions will be able to benchmark on and therefore use to add more value to sports in Botswana,” said Makgatho.
For a long time local athletes found it difficult to win the 42km race at the Diacore Gaborone Marathon. This athlete programme has brought hope to some in the athletics fraternity that with the high level training local athletes may now challenge successfully for the title. Since in Botswana running is part time, professional runners from other countries have been dominating the title and now the programme might help put local athletes at par with their foreign counterparts.