Livingstone, August 12, 2014, ZANIS ———-Livingstone Deputy Mayor Fred Sikazwe today flagged off the first ever trail marathon in the tourist capital Livingstone.
Mr. Sikazwe says the move was a huge achievement as it presented a new concept of blending tourism and sport in Livingstone.
And African View Tours and Safaris Director Giacomo Corsini says the trail marathon was an opportunity for Livingstone and the surrounding areas.
Mr. Corsini said the development is aimed to promote the marathon world- wide in a different, positive and athletic perspective that would benefit the local communities.
“The benefit is that all the runners intend to help improve the rural communities in one way or another through materials such as clothing, shoes and books they are going to donate,” he said.
He explained that the marathon had 27 participants and covered a distance of 20 kilometers with the starting point set at Simonga Village.
“The athletes will have a chance to pass through scenic areas and our hope is to get them to combine their passion for sport with knowledge about Zambian culture and also to mix sport with tourism,” he said.
Mr. Corsini further said the trail marathon would help raise awareness of activities taking place in the rural communities countrywide.
He added that the major achievement from the marathon in the next four days would be to create a bond between the international and the local runners.
And in a separate interview, Southern Province Sports Coordinator Kennedy Mubanga said that the Ministry of Sport would take a leaf from the initiative shown by the Ministry of Tourism and Arts by maintaining high athletic standards.
“This is a programme that falls into what we call sports tourism. I would therefore, like to encourage people to participate in such, since sport and tourism are factors that co-exist and government is trying to promote them,” he said.
Similar trail marathons have been held in Kenya, Ethiopia and Zanzibar from the time they started.
ZANIS /ENDS/ WM/MM——-DRY