THE National Sports Council Chairman (NSC) Dioniz Malinzi on Wednesday launched the fourth edition of Rock City Marathon to be held on October 28 in Mwanza Region.
The marathon organized by a local integrated communication and public relations company, Capital Plus International (CPI) Limited will be flagged off at CCM Kirumba Stadium which will be the finishing point. Addressing journalists and sponsors during the launch, Malinzi said it is not a secret that athletics section in the country has fallen tremendously.
"It is a shame for the country like Tanzania which had previously kept its record internationally to leave this happening," he noted. Malinzi thanked the local firm for organizing the event using the local sponsors, saying the move need be emulated by other local firms in the country to boost sports and other entertainment.
He ushered blames to some marathon leaders in the country, saying few self centred corrupt officials had ruined the status of athletics the country enjoyed in the previous years. "We have tried our best to change the Athletics Tanzania (AT) leadership with difficulties though we managed," he noted without mentioning their names.
The chairman said there was a need now to open up doors for athletics to thrive. "We need to revive the trend in districts and regions and then at national level," said Malinzi. For her part, the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Principal Public Relations and Customer Service officer, Theopista Muheza said they were sponsoring the marathon to boost tourism in the country as they have been supporting other sectors like education and health.
Airtel PR and Event Officer, Dangio Kaniki said they have been supporting sports, education and music several times. "But this time we felt it was important to sponsor this marathon. Earlier the AT First-Vice President, William Kallaghe said there was a need to invest much in the athletic sector by using local sponsors.
"If your company had managed to get local sponsors here, then others can emulate your efforts. But we can as well use international marathon to promote our tourism in the country," he said.
The event has attracted a number of stakeholders in sports, and also drawn attention of companies like National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB), African Barrick Gold, Nyanza Bottlers, Parastatal Pensions Fund (PPF), Geita Gold Mine, TANAPA, Sahara Communication, ATCL, New Mwanza Hotel, Airtel, and New Africa Hotel who have come out as sponsors.
The event will include races like cross country (5km non competitive) this is in preparation of the mini marathon, 21 Km -Half marathon, 5 Km -Fun race (Classic for all) , 3 Km -Disabled race, 3 Km -Elderly and 2 Km-Children (7-10 years).