Athletes want improved winner’s cash prize
The Orange Phikwe National Marathon Local Organising Committee (LOC) have mooted the possibility of an increased cash prize for the winners.
For the past six years under the sponsorship of Orange, both male and female winners have been pocketing P25 000 in the 42.2km main race.
LOC Chairperson, Omphemetse Makwape told Voice Sport that some athletes and administrators have shared their frustrations about the amounts awarded to excelling athletes, and appealed for an improved offer.
Makwape said they understand where the athletes are coming from as the cost of living is too high.
She however added that while they’ve the desire to increase the prize money, such a decision will be determined by how much is put on the table by potential sponsors.
According to Makwape, the 10km race attracts hundreds of athletes but only the top six finishers receive cash prizes.
Makwape further revealed that there was an increase in participation this year, and was optimistic that the numbers will rise again in the 2023 edition.
“Competitors come from countries such as Kenya, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire , Mali, Saudi Arabia and South Africa and they spend a lot on their travel expenses, which the prize money barely covers,” he said.
The Chairperson however told Voice Sport that despite the niggling challenges, she was happy with how the event panned out.
“One of the challenges was we had athletes who had paid but had not registered, and those who had registered but were yet to pay. This brought a lot of confusion during race day, but it is something we’re working to rectify next year,” said Makwape.
Orange Sponsorship Coordinator Segomotso Kgwatalala shared his sentiments revealing that they have achieved their target of registering 2 300 participants.
She said the main objective of this event is to discover talent in long distance running and to boost the economy of the town especially in hospitality and small businesses.
“We extended our contract in 2018 with three years and we are now left with one year,”
Orange has been pumping P220 000 annually as sponsorship money.
The company also spends a lot of money on activations and advertising the event.
“It is part of our corporate social responsibility,” said Kgwatalala.