This year’s Orange Phikwe Marathon (OPM) will be used to promote tourism and support different businesses in Selebi-Phikwe and surrounding villages. Following the recent closure of the BCL mine the Selibe Phikwe economy quickly took a slump.
Speaking during a press conference in Gaborone this week Orange Botswana Director, Corporate Affairs Lepata Mafa-Nthomola said sports tourism is a trend that is growing internationally. “Cities are competing to host sporting events to improve their image, showcase their culture and most importantly to grow their economy”, she said.
“As Orange Phikwe Marathon Local Organising Committee we see an opportunity to commercially package the Marathon to support the businesses in Phikwe. It is under this conviction and backdrop that we want to bring a bigger and better 2017 Orange Phikwe Marathon.”
However, Nthomola urged the corporate sector to register teams that will take part in the marathon or come on board as a sponsor. “To all the businesses in Phikwe and the surrounding villages, this is the opportunity to sell yourselves and secure partnerships.”
Nthomola said they used feedback from last year’s marathon to make changes and improvements to this year’s event. “We have increased resources as an intention to attract a huge number of participants from 500 runners to 2000.”
Registration and payment is also said to be convenient, with the website having been refreshed with latest information on the race and the route, there will also be an increased number of marshals with communication resources availed for them.
Among other things there will be improved and visible markings on the route, increased water points and water supply. The company also guarantees high standard of safety that will be upheld with the assistance of the Botswana Police Service.
Improved standards during the marathon also includes time recording micro-chips, which will be placed on the athletes to record accurate time in an effort to meet international standards.
“The Marathon presents an opportunity for the discovery of talented athletes who can represent this country at international platforms and shine a spotlight on our country,” said Nthomola.