Ethiopian marathon legend, Haile Gebrselassie has paid a courtesy call on the Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon. Mahama Ayariga, at his office in Accra. Haile Gebrselassie was in the country to launch the first ever international marathon to take place in Ghana, the Millenium Marathon.
Welcoming the legend to his office, Hon. Mahama Ayariga expressed delight at the visit and said the millennium marathon is a laudable initiative that would help unearth sports talents and hoped that his visit would inspire young athletes. The Hon. Minister added that his outfit was ready to support the Marathon.
The event which comes off on September 6th, 2015, is being organized by Millenium Marathon Sports Ltd and the first time Ghana will be hosting such a momentous marathon event for both local and international runners.
The marathon will be in two categories, 21k and 5k events. The 21k km and 5k km marathon will commence from the Independence Square through principal streets in the capital city and end at the same Independence Square.
The Minister said his ministry would organize marathons in all the regions to whip up interest towards the major event in September and added that talents unearthed would be selected for the main Millenium Marathon. He said the regional marathon also aims at recruiting people who show potentials for further training.
Haile Gebrselassie thanked the minister for his warm reception and said he was happy to be in Ghana. He said athletics is not just a recreational activity but a very lucrative sport. The marathon legend said the marathon would attract both local and international athletes.
The Millennium Marathon Sports Company is working alongside major stakeholders like the Government of Ghana, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Accra Metropolitan Assembly, and others.
Gebrselassie was accompanied on the visit by the Mayor of Accra, Mr. Oko Vanderpuye, Her Excellency Ambassador Gifti Ababulgu, Ethiopian Ambassador to Ghana, Ambassador Ashim Morton and officials of the Millenium Marathon Sports Limited, organizers of the event.
Also present were the Chief Director of MoYS, Alhaji Abudulai Yakubu, and Members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Youth, Sports and Culture as well as the Board Chairman of the National Sports Authority, Mr. Alhassan Ligbi and the Director General of the Authority, Mr. Joe Kpengeh.