Kampala City Marathon to be held in December

Authorities in Uganda have announced that the Kampala City Marathon will be held this December and aims at marketing the East African country as the preferred tourist destination on the continent.

During a press briefing held in Kampala last Monday, the state minister for education and sports, Peter Ogwang, said the event will be organized in collaboration with the Presidential Advisory Committee on Export and Industrial Development (PACEID) together with the private sector.

Ogwang said the marathon will be used to profile Uganda’s socio-cultural and economic endowment.

“The marathon will also aim to promote the health of the population through engagement in physical activity as a lifestyle to prevent non-communicable diseases,” Ogwang said.

The Kampala City Marathon is a 10-year project to brand Kampala City and Uganda as a preferred tourist destination.

The marathon is also one of the strategies to generate revenue for the country.

“The Kampala City Marathon is poised to be one of the top marathon races in Africa that will be key in helping our country attract tens of thousands of visitors to experience the best of the Ugandan spirit and hospitality,” Ogwang added.

Through the marathon, the country will get the opportunity to showcase “our stellar long-distance running tradition and of course celebrate the beauty and diversity that makes Uganda truly unique.”

To ensure professionalism and global standards the ministry will organize the marathon with the involvement of the Uganda Athletics Federation, the Private Sector and relevant Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

“In the organisation of the Marathon, the Ministry of Education and Sports will be supported by Golazo, a company with vast experience in organizing international marathons all over the world like Berlin, Nairobi, Rotterdam, Brussels, Ghent among others,” Ogwang said

The Marathon will consist of races including the 42.195km, 10km, a half marathon (21.097km) and 5km.

“The events are expected to start and finish at the Mandela National Stadium and will be open to elite and regular local and foreign runners/joggers,” Ogwang said, adding that by the end of the 10 years, they expect the marathon to attract at least 65,000 participants.

According to the minister, the events prior to, during and post marathon will create opportunities to “promote the diverse natural beauty and cultures of our people in addition to creating a platform for the Ugandan business community to showcase their products and services to the world.”

“It will include showcasing entertainment along the course and finish, a cultural festival and Hall of Fame for the marathon. Furthermore, there will be Safari packages days after the marathon weekend to the various tourist destinations,” Ogwang noted.

The organisation of the Marathon will be fully funded by President Yoweri Museveni “who is passionate about physical activity as a measure to prevent non communicable diseases.”

The Marathon is thereafter expected to sustain itself through private sector contributions and event proceeds after the initial four years.

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