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De Beers boosts Botswana marathon

De Beers Group and its employees have played a major role in making Botswana’s Diacore Gaborone Marathon a big success.

Youth innovators prepare to do business.

The company donated P100,000 to the PGM Foundation, which empowers young people through sporting events held in Botswana, and supported 24 young Batswana athletes with accommodation, meals and kit for the marathon.

On the day, 99 employees and members of their families put on running shoes for the event in Botswana’s capital.

Also, in what has become a tradition, the company arranged for prime exhibition space for 10 young entrepreneurs on the De Beers Youth Innovators programme to showcase their products and services to the participants, spectators and a variety of corporate leaders - all part of the company’s commitment to supporting young people in various sectors.

The annual event, sponsored by international diamond firm Diacore, offers a 42.2km marathon, a 21.1km half-marathon, a 10km race and a 4km fun run for the family. All proceeds from registration are donated to charity. The marathon raised P1 million in 2015, 2016 and 2017 – and P1,100,000 in 2018.

De Beers Executive Vice-President Paul Rowley (centre, rear) with cheerleaders and employees.

The marathon is the country’s main charity running event and is one of the biggest races in Africa. It is an important qualifier for major international races. This year, a record 7,300 runners from 33 countries in Africa and Europe, as well as the US, took part. The first prize was P1 million, but only if the winning time was below two hours and eight minutes.

Sibusizo Nzima, from South Africa, won the men’s 42km race with a run time of two hours and sixteen minutes, just eight minutes from winning the P1million prize. Zimbabwean Olivia Chitate came first in the women’s category.

One of the athletes sponsored by De Beers, 23-year-old Kefilwe Galeitsewe from Molepolole, took third place in the 21km race (women’s category), putting Botswana in the top three of that run.

Pat Dambe, Vice-President, Corporate Affairs and Government Relations in Botswana, said that supporting the marathon was part of the company’s commitment to supporting Botswana’s national Vision 2036 pillar on Human and Social Development. She highlighted that the company continued to work closely with the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development in delivering its support to the marathon.

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