The Mwanza Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr. John Mongella became the first participant to register for participation in this year’s Rock City Marathon expected to take place on September 25th at the CCM Kirumba Stadium.
Speaking during a brief launch ceremony held in Mwanza yesterday, Mongella who was accompanied by the President of Athletics Tanzania (AT) who is also the Simiyu RC Mr. Anthony Mataka said he would participate in the 21-kilometer category.
“I am officially announcing that henceforth, Rock City Marathon will be an annual agenda for the Mwanza region. I will ensure the marathon gets enough participants and sponsors from Mwanza region,” said Mongella adding that it was not proper for the race to depend on sponsorship from Dar es Salaam, yet Mwanza had companies and organisations capable of developing the Mwanza region.
Mongella said he was persuaded to participate in the race because of the underlying vision of the event, to promote the region’s tourism products and services and create more awareness about the dangers of poaching, a vice that is threatening to wipe out the elephants.
On his part, Mataka, in addition to congratulating the marathon’s sponsors among them the Friedkin Conservation Fund (FCF) and African Wildlife Trust (AWT) asked other companies within the tourism sector to use the annual event as a platform to promote local tourism.
“I urge Capital-Plus International, the organisers of this marathon to consider starting preparations for this event early in order to give our athletes ample time of at least three months to practice so that they can achieve good results against their fellow competitors from outside the country,” said Mataka.
The vice chairman of the RCM steering committee Mr. Zenno Ngowi said this year’s event is the eighth to be launched consistently since 2009. He said the purpose of the annual event was not only to present a platform of unearthing talent but also to promote local tourism through sports.
Ngowi at the same time thanked all the stakeholders, including FCF and AWT, Mwanza Hotel, Nyanza Bottlers Limited, the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and construction firm, China Railway Jianchang Engineering Company (CJRE) and Real PR Solutions for sponsoring this year’s marathon.
The event organiser from Capital-Plus International, Mr. Mathew Kasonta said it will feature five races including the 21-kilometer race for men and women, the 5-kilometer corporate race, 3-kilometer race for the physically challenged and for the elderly aged 55 years and above. The race will also include a 2-kilometer event for children between the ages of 7 to 19 years.
Kasonta asked residents of Mwanza and the adjacent regions to start registering for participation by filling in forms they can obtain from the Mwanza regional and district sports offices.
“And if you are a resident of Dar es Salaam, you the forms are available at Capital-Plus International offices located on the third floor of ATC building. Will also in due course announce other locations in Dar es Salaam where you can obtain the registration forms,” said Kasonta.
By Our reporter, Mwanza