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Bocheletsane Marathon roars to life

Mikia Kalati

THE Lesotho Amateur Athletics Association (LAAA) says it’s all systems go for Saturday’s Bocheletsane Marathon that is set for Mantšonyane in Thaba-Tseka.

The Bocheletsane Half-Marathon and a soccer tournament dubbed the MGC Soccer Spectacular, form part of the Matekane Group of Companies’ (MGC) celebrations during the official opening of their Mantšonyane Project set for 23 March 2019.

The Mantšonyane Project is the brainchild of MGC founder Sam Matekane where the company has built primary and secondary schools, sports facilities and a church for the community as part of its social corporate initiative (CSI).

MGC forked out M216 000 to sponsor the race while they will give M100 000 to each of the four semifinalists who will play in the MGC Spectacular on Saturday.

LAAA public relation officer Sejanamane Maphathe told the Lesotho Times earlier this week, that the Bocheletsane marathon comprises if the 21.1km race for adults and the 5km race for athletes aged from 15 to 17 years.

“All the preparations for the race have gone very well so far and we are looking forward to Saturday,” Maphathe said.

“The race will have the 21.1 km and the 5km races in both the male and female categories. The 5km race is for development and only athletes aged 15 to 17 years are allowed to take part in it while the other one is for seasoned athletes.”

Maphathe said the winners of the half-marathon in both categories will walk away with M10 000 while those who will come second will pocket M6 000.

In the 5km race, winners in the male and female categories will walk away with M7 000 while runners-up will get M5 000.

He hailed the sponsorship from MGC for helping them stage the marathon and give athletes a chance to compete in a competitive race.

“It’s going to help us a lot in preparing our athletes as we have some who are trying to qualify for the World Championships set for Doha in September.

“It’s a good platform for our athletes, who will soon be competing in international competitions especially the 21km race. The 5km race is also very good for young athletes.

“We also have long distance runners who will soon be competing in the Two Oceans Marathon in South African and this is a chance for them to see how far they have gone in their preparations,” he said.

Maphathe also hailed the sponsors for the prizes which he said were good based on the fact that this will be the first edition of the race.

“Ntate Matekane has sponsored the race to the tune of M216 000 which covers the prizes and his company is also taking care of other logistics such as transportation of the athletes and other things.

“One can only hope that this sponsorship will not be once off but a sponsorship of four or five years since we do not have a lot of competitions for our athletes.

“This is why most of the time they have to travel to South Africa, sometimes for small races, and have to spend a lot of money to get there.

“It will help us immensely if this competition becomes an annual event to help in the growth of local athletics,” Maphathe said.

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