Sam Nujoma Half Marathon Prizes Up

THE organisers of the upcoming Dr Sam Nujoma Half Marathon hope that the “lucrative prize money” will lure more top athletes to the race.

That was the collective message delivered on Tuesday by Athletics Namibia, the Namibia Sport Commission, MTC and Coca Cola Namibia representatives, who agreed that the quality of sport competitions will improve if athletes stand to be handsomely rewarded for their efforts.

Joseph Mundjindji, who heads leading sponsor MTC’s sponsorships and promotions section, said their N$160 000 investment in this year’s event, which takes place on 23 May in Swakopmund, was towards that objective.

Coca Cola are the official soft drinks sponsor and will also provide an unspecified amount of “cash in kind”, while the Sport Commission will also shoulder the costs of running the event.

“The lucrative prize money is to attract not only our best runners but also athletes from Southern African Development Community,” Mundjindji said during the launch of the road running race’s fourth edition in Windhoek.

The winners of the men’s and women’s open category will receive N$10 000 each, with the national champions also getting bonus N$10 000 prizes.

“We are lending our support to the Sam Nujoma Half Marathon (SNM) with a sound belief that this event will become one of the leading and the premier event in Namibian road running circles and needs our support wholeheartedly. During the first edition in 2011, we did so knowing well that it will one day grow to a world class event,” Mundjindji added.

A second place finish in the open race is worth N$8 000, third is N$7 000, while there is prize money for the next three positions as well.

Furthermore, the junior category is worth a combined N$10 500, with the masters category valued at N$8 300 for the top four runners.

Meanwhile the combined value of the 10km open event is N$9 500, with the junior section worth N$3 600 and the masters podium places are N$3 000.

Athletics Namibia president Alna Similo said MTC and Coca Cola’s sponsorships have made the Sam Nujoma Half Marathon the most lucrative athletics event in the country.

“I need to emphasise that we would not be standing here today making all these beautiful announcements had it not been for MTC and Coca Cola,” she said, before adding that, “we find it it extremely challenging to host similar events throughout the year. The latter position is informed by a lack of adequate funding which is hampering our efforts to develop, grow and popularise sport in general. I bemoan the fact that we only have a handful of businesses in Namibia who are willing to support and fund athletics through sponsorships.”

Similo also said the registration will open later this week once all logistics are in place.

Source : The Namibian