Sports Ministry Supports Millennium Marathon - Mahama Ayariga

Minister of Youth and Sports, Mahama Ayariga has expressed firm support and commitment to the biggest Marathon event that will be held in September this year, in Ghana.

The half Marathon run, which will host the World's Marathon athlete and Ethiopian Legend Haile Gebrselassie, is the first to be held in the capital of the nation.

Addressing the media at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Hon. Mahama Ayariga was elated that organizers of Marathon event chose Ghana as the venue for the event.

According to him, such initiative has numerous benefits for the nation and also will enhance the potentials of several Ghanaian athletes as they aspire to become World icons across the globe.

He also was particularly excited that the event will boost the good image of the nation.

“We are thinking about organizing a number of marathons in every regional capital feeding into the Millennium marathon race itself so that those who show potentials, then we can have expert take them and then send to our sports college and prepare them. Because we have a lot of potentials who are sitting in their villages; let them go to their farms and come back home. If you ask them to come around, you will be amazed at how fast they run," he said.

Health Minister, Dr. Kwaku Agyemang Mensah who warmly received Haile Gebrselassie upon his visit to the country, was also optimistic that the event will appeal to the health needs of the Ghanaian populace.

He believed running Marathon in the nation will help kick out some diseases from the immune systems of the masses.

“The Ministry of Health is excited to be associated with this noble gesture because we know that if you want to live long; if you want to be healthy, you have to exercise. There’s no too waste about that. I’m sure a lot of the diseases (you know) – killer diseases – could be brought down if people regularly exercise and maintain a healthy diet.”

Haile Gebrselassie who arrived on Tuesday March 10, 2015 also paid a courtesy call on the Tourism Minister, Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare.

He was filled with delight that Ghana would host such great event and so, stressed that in spite of the health benefits and other benefits that the event would bring for the country; tourism is a another venture that both local and international marathon runners who will participate in the September Marathon run will be looking out for.

Hon. Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare also believed Haile, popularly called the "Emperor of Ethiopian Athletics", is a huge tourist attraction for the numbers across the globe.

An official launch of the event was held at the Alisa Hotel in Accra.

Dignitaries present at the launch were Mahama Ayariga, Sports Minister, Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Victor Asare Bampoe, Accra Mayor Alfred Oko Vanderpuiye and Africa's Marathon legend Haile Gebrselassie.

The 20 k km and 5K Km Marathon run, organized by the Millennium Marathon Sports Limited, will be held on September 6, 2015.