High table officials in a group photograph
Marathon legend Haile Gebrsellasie has charged government officials in high office to make sports in general and running in particular a priority.
In his short address at launch of the second edition of the Millennium Marathon in Accra yesterday, he admonished that doing a 20-minute running on daily basis promotes good health.
And aligning himself with this year’s theme, ‘Africa On The Run’, the Ethiopian icon mentioned that it will take running in every aspect for the continent to catch up with the world.
“Ministers, ambassadors, how much do we spend on medical bills? In my country we spend so much on drugs due to high blood pressure and other diseases.”
“Doing sports is making money, let’s run and catch up with the Europeans and Americas, it’s possible. Let’s run every day.”
Former Youth and Sports minister Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, who stood in for President Mahama, underscored the importance of sports and indicated that the youth must embrace the qualities that team spirit teaches in sports.
He indicated that this year’s millennium marathon should promote peace and support the ideals of sustainable development goals.
Outgoing Youth and Sports Minister, Dr Mustafa Ahmed hinted that his outfit’s partnership with the event shows how Ghana is committed to ensuring that SDG becomes a reality.
He expressed the hope that the event will inculcate the spirit of healthy living among the youth and the many that will participate.
Put together by Ambassador Ashim Morton, a Ghanaian entrepreneur, this year’s prize offer is worth over $150,000; the biggest on the African continent and is expected to attract international elite athletes from the continent over.
Over 40,000 participants are expected to hit the streets of Accra on September 3 for the main race. Special prizes including two brand new Peugeot cars are at stake.
Preceding the main event is ten regional marathons scheduled between March 12 and June 15.
Afriyie Ankrah, Accra Mayor Alfred Oko Vanderpuije and heads of foreign missions performed the official torch lightening ceremony after the launch.
Last year, the organizers sponsored winners of the maiden edition to a training session in Ethiopia.
This year’s has Gebrsellasie as the Race Director.
By Kofi Owusu Aduonum