FNB, Mammoth sponsor Road Challenge

FNB, Mammoth sponsor Road Challenge

MASERU – FNB Lesotho and Mammoth Employee Benefits have joined forces to sponsor next month’s Maseru City Urban Road Challenge.
The timely boost was revealed yesterday by the two companies at the FNB headquarters in Maseru.
2019 is the fourth birthday of the Maseru City Urban Road Challenge and it marks the first time Lesotho Amateur Athletics Association (LAAA) also comes on board.

The marathon will take place on October 5 and is part of the country’s Independence Day celebrations.
Through FNB and Mammoth’s sponsorship, event organisers say 15 temporary jobs will be created to ensure the race runs smoothly.
The main goal of the Maseru City Urban Road Challenge is to grow sports tourism in Lesotho and provide a “sustainable business environment for hospitality businesses.”

The race also aims to encourage Basotho to participate in healthy activities such as running, gym and hiking throughout the year.
FNB marketing manager Lebohang Setlalekgosi said Lesotho’s runners deserve more high-profile races locally which will help them compete on the international stage.

She said the Maseru City Urban Road Challenge is an opportunity for FNB to come in and contribute.
“We have recognised running as the sport that we want to give more attention to, it does not get the kind of attention it deserves in the country, therefore, we thought it would be best to create these platforms for our runners because we have a lot of runners that run in the country and abroad representing the country but they don’t have the right kind of support,” Setlalekgosi said.

“This marathon is basically creating that platform in the country for them to come out and show their strengths,” she added.
Last month FNB helped local marathon star Teboho Noosi travel to Switzerland to compete at the Sierre- Zinal Race where he finished ninth.
“FNB Lesotho we focus on running,” Setlalekgosi said.
“We sponsored (Noosi) to go to Switzerland earlier this year and he did very well. I think part of the good effort was the fact that he had sponsorship and he had the country supporting him.”

The Maseru City Urban Road Challenge is divided into three distance categories: 5, 10 and 21.1 kilometres.
Under the 21.1 km race there are also additional Masters and Under-18 sections.

The winners of the main 21.1 km marathon in the men and women’s races will go home M1 500 richer. Second and third place, meanwhile, will pocket M1 000 and M750 respectively.
On behalf of race organisers, Bokang Kheekhe said Lesotho needs to do more to tap into the country’s road running potential. Currently, Lesotho’s only internationally recognised marathon is the High Altitude Summer Marathon held every December in Mokhotlong.

“We are happy to see Lesotho go forward and there is great potential in athletics,” Kheekhe said.
“We watch these marathons on TV, we know all the time you will see a Mosotho (finish) at number one, number two, number three and you ask yourself, but here in Lesotho the biggest marathon we have is the one in Mokhotlong,” he added.

“There is so much potential and we should really put our efforts towards supporting this potential. Let’s help LAAA, (and) these athletes to see them reach their full potential.”

Tlalane Phahla


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