BY MUNIRA BUX
Sunday, November 21, witnessed a more than decent crowd turn up at the Kololo grounds for the 17th edition of the MTN Kampala Marathon.
The event that returned after a two year break due to covid 19 was attended by high profile persons including Kampala Capital City Authority Executive Director Dorothy Kisaka, the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Health, Diana Atwine and The Prime Minister Robina Nabbanja, who also flagged off the event.
Speaking on Sunday, Dr. Atwine appreciated the supposed MTN extended towards the health sector in Uganda.
“It means the world to us as 5% of our new born babies are pre-mature and the services in hospitals are not the best. Atwine said.
“We appreciate MTN and all the other partners that have joined the cause and urge others to join the initiative.”
Just like in the past, Ugandan runners dominated the race. Bukwo based Soyekwo Chebet ran a time of 2 hours 17 minutes and 01 second to win the men’s main marathon ahead of Kenya’s Samuel Kalalei. Juliet Chekwel won the women’s main race in a time of 2:39:18.
Maxwell Kortex Rotich and Mercilyne Chelangat won the men and women 21-kilometer races, respectively, while Lovis Niwagaba triumphed in the women’s 10 KM. For Ali Chebures, he clocked under half an hour to win the men’s 10 kilometers.
All proceeds collected from this year’s event will be used to upgrade maternal homes in four health facilities across Uganda. The gesture was applauded by the Kampala Capital City Authority Executive Director Dorothy Kisaka.
“First of all, being a leader in the city and having a great partnership with MTN helps. It is great being part of this family of Kampala.” Kiseka noted.
Some of the health facilities set to benefit from the “Run for Babies” MTN Marathon include Kaabong Health Centre III, Kachumbala Health Centre, Kisenyi health Centre and Kawaala health Centre III.
NBS Sport General Manager and Next Media Deputy CEO Joe Kigozi shared his appreciation towards holding the 2022 MTN Marathon.
“This year’s cause is so dear to me as a parent and a father to a girl. I am pleased all these companies have come on board to tackle something that we all believe should have been addressed years ago.
For MTN Chief Marketing Officer Som Dev, he said that their relationship with the ministry of health has help them know where to invest the proceeds.
“We work with the ministry of health who we work with and they tell us what are their priorities so it helps us know where to invest the proceeds.
The MTN Kampala Marathon will return with the 18th edition in November 2023.