12 February 2013

Cameroon: Mount Cameroon Race - Local Authorities Hold First Preparatory Meeting

Preparations for the upcoming Mount Cameroon Race of Hope have gone underway in Buea. Administrative, security and athletics regional league authorities meet in a meeting Wednesday 6 February 2013 at the conference hall of the Governor's office, under the chairmanship of Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai. In his opening remark, Governor Okalia Bilai said the preparatory meeting was necessary in order for them to know that state of affairs so that they are not caught off guard.

Preparations were therefore set rolling with the creation of thirteen sub committees charged with the smooth organization of the 18th edition of the Race of Hope. The Governor was however taken aback when the Regional Delegate of Sports and Physical Education, Abel Ekema, hinted that an official in the Ministry of Sports in Yaounde told him on phone that the race shall take place on the 16 February. The Regional Delegate of Public Health, Dr. Victor Mbome Njie who is the chairman of the Health sub committee pointed out that athletes have to be examined early enough before the race and not late in the night on the eve of the race as the case was last year. He regretted that materials for that purpose always come in late. He also raised worries of the participation of some athletes who are medically disqualified for the race but then are seen taking part.

Also present at the meeting was a group of some visually impaired persons who appealed that they should be given the opportunity to also compete in the race just like last year, as part of their social integration. The Delegate of Sports and the President of the South West Regional Athletics Federation, Motomby Mbome, said adequate preparations were not carried out last year as far as the visually impaired are concerned. The officials said it would require proper arrangements to minimize the risk of the visually impaired running the race. Motomby Mbome said practical modalities will only be decided by the National Committee especially on the participation of the visually impaired athletes.

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