Big prize money shows athletics is a top sport – Ramaala

2012-07-04 12:39

Legendary marathon runner Hendrick Ramaala has commended the Gauteng provincial government for “recognising athletics as one of the top sports in the country”.

Ramaala’s comment follows the launch of the Gauteng Sports Challenge by Gauteng MEC for sport and recreation Lebogang Maile yesterday.
A marathon has been included in the sports programme that kicks off with football on July 21.

Maile announced that the marathon – pencilled in for September 2 – will offer the second biggest prize for the road race with R250 000 at stake for both the first man and woman home.

“We want to promote healthy living and the big prize money is a good attraction for everyone to run,” said Maile.

The Comrades Marathon pays R300 000 to the winner.

Former New York Marathon winner Ramaala said: “I am happy that athletics has been recognised as one of the top sports in the country. We really appreciated the support from the provincial government as this initiative is part of growing the sport.

“Most runners rely on races to earn a living and the big prize money comes in handy since road running had lost its biggest sponsorship a few years ago.”

The organisers said the marathon will be an ideal warm-up race for those who will run the City 2 City on September 30 and the Soweto Marathon on November 4.

Ramaala, who was recently elected vice-president of Athletics SA, said hosts Central Gauteng Athletics has already received over 1 500 entries just a few hours after the launch.

“It is a positive thing that Gauteng has started and I hope other provinces will follow suit.”

The 42km will start at the Mogale City Civic Centre and finishes at the Johannesburg Stadium.

The other events are a 5km fun run and a 21km race.

Meanwhile Absa Premiership clubs Kaizer Chiefs, Moroka Swallows, Bidvest Wits and SuperSport United will face off in the Gauteng Cup at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville, Pretoria on July 21.

Wits will kick off the event against SuperSport at 10am while Chiefs and Swallows meet at midday.

The final takes places at 5.15pm.

The winner will pocket R500 000 in the one-day tournament.

Maile said rugby (Rugga Cup) will be introduced next year.

»Online entries for the marathon are available on www.gsconline.co.za
» Follow Daniel on Twitter @DanieMothowagae
Follow City Press: @City_Press


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