Kazungula Bridge Marathon Grows In Bounds

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The third edition of the FNBB Kazungula Bridge Marathon is set to be bigger and better than the previous two editions – in terms of the participants, prize monies and categories. This was revealed by the organisers recently at sponsorship unveiling event.

The Marathon Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Obert Morgan revealed that the third edition billed for February 24th next year is expected to attract 5 000 participants against the 2 923 they registered in 2022 and 3 595 last year.

He further said there will be increased monetary prizes for athlete with the prize monies increased from P550 000 to P750 000. He indicated that the winner of the 42km race will walk away with staggering P75 000 compared to last edition’s P50 000.

Morgan also revealed that the first Motswana to cross the line in the marathon (42km) and half marathon (21km) respectively will be rewarded with P10 000.

In an effort to nurture and develop young talent in Chobe, Morgan indicated that a total of 63 school going youth from the region would be included in the 5 km race and be rewarded with prize monies.

He further indicated that the marathon would be the first event in the country to offer prize money for the 5km race. He added that they have also introduced the elders of the village category which is meant to recognise the elderly, noting that those participating would be offered holiday packages.

When announcing the new three-year sponsorship contract worth over P5 million, FNBB CEO Steven Bogatsu said that the investments will go towards planning, organising and hosting the marathon for the years 2024, 2025 and 2026.

Meanwhile, Bogatsu noted that statistics from the department of tourism on the performance and impact of the marathon show that 34% of participants were visiting Chobe for the first time.  Bogatsu indicated that there was also a revenue increase of 96% for Kasane and Kazungula businesses when compared to other years when there was no marathon.

“Through the marathon sponsorship we have witnessed a boost on businesses both formal and informal in the region, as indicated by the research from BTO.  A total revenue generated by hospitality and accommodation facilities during the marathon stands at 439%,” he said.

Chobe District Council Chairman Chimney Muluwani also concurred that the marathon has proved to be a massive economic spanner in Chobe noting that BTO impact and performance survey showed that on average each participant spent close to P10 000 during that weekend on food and drinks, fuel, leisure activities, entertainment and shopping.

He also revealed that during last year’s marathon 40.7% of the participants and spectators utilized private houses for accommodation while 35.6% utilized hotels and lodges.

Furthermore, he noted that during the same period there was an influx into the Chobe National Park through game drives as 1 015 people accessed the park in two days. He stated that they also recorded the highest number of daily visitors which stood at 310 the day before marathon. Mululwani said that cumulatively these major activities injected P345 000 for both government and tour operators in two days.

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