Report: Sekondi-Takoradi Marathon 2021 Launched
The second edition of the Sekondi-Takoradi Marathon (STM) has been successfully launched yesterday at the Western Regional Coordinating Council Hall (WRCC) at 3:00 pm in Western Region.
According to the organisers, the STM is so far the largest and the best marathon in the country.
The MC of the event was Mr. Charles Cobbinah, he first acknowledged all the dignitaries, individuals, and the media present at the event. He also highlighted the maiden edition of the STM and said that the event was very successful and all covid-19 protocols were observed and had zero cases before and after the event.
Mr. Cobbinah talked about the whole event that will be organised during Christmas in the Western Region. He also said that the Western Regional Christmas Project has moved forward.
“We are getting all the four Armed Forces Band and all will be stationed at vantage points between 24th December 2021 – 1st January 2022. This means that the Christmas project is not for just a few people but this time the community will feel it”.
“When it comes to the marathon it’s one of the iconic events and this year, in addition, there will be cycling on the 24th December, 25th December there will be fun boxing at the Takoradi Mall, and a local derby between Sekondi Hassacas and Eleven Wise, the traditional teams in the Western Region. Golf was tried to be added but it will be in place in 2022”, added Mr. Charles Cobbinah.
He again pleaded with the media to do more advertising although they are on it. Yes, as Oliver Twist will always ask for more.
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He later handed the floor to the Race Director, William Ezah. He welcomed all the dignitaries, individuals, and the media present at the launch and thank them for honouring the invitations.
“I would like to ask for your permission to take off the mask so that I can talk well. The Sekondi-Takoradi Marathon for last year was a very difficult moment for us. But we perceived and ensured that the event came to life. Once a baby is born there is the determination to keep nurturing the baby, feeding it and making it grow for the future”.
“It will interest you, that last year we had close to 600 athletes from all over the country to take part. We had athletes from the North, joined our friends from the Ashanti Region, athletes from Kenya, Cote D’Ivoire, Burkina Faso to take part in the first edition. Even though that was the first edition but the patronage was solid and it looked like an event that has been in place for years”.
‘’That was the result of our hard work, we worked 24hours to make sure we had a successful event. We had as many as eleven (11) cooperate bodies supporting us to stage a successful event. We expect that we had more this time, with enough cooperate sponsorships we can do more”.
“Our aim is to make the STM a very attractive brand and an enviable one. We want make it that all athletes will put it on their calendar and remember that every December, I will be in Takoradi to run the Sekondi-Takoradi Marathon. That is the kind of brand we want to build for now. I know you can look at other marathons in the country but I can confidently tell you that the Sekondi-Takoradi Marathon is the best in this country”, said William Ezah
He again elaborated on the registration, prizes, accommodation, and transportation of all the participants. About the registration he said that latest by Monday athletes can register online and manual. The registration will be free for all participants. He enlighted on the last year’s package of which from 1st – 10th were all awarded of cash and assorted products from the sponsors. According to him, if partners/sponsors come on board there is the possibility that the prize packages would be increased, if not then last year’s package will be maintained. There will be free accommodation and transportation for all the participants.
He expressed his appreciation and profound gratitude to the WRCC, the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA), the National Sports Authority (NSA), the media for giving them the opportunity, and to all the sponsors. Sekondi-Takoradi Marathon has come to stay and very soon it will be worldwide. He again added that a free running vest will be given to all the athletes after registering. The vests are donated by the betting company mybet.africa. This year’s event is targeted to get 1000+ athletes on the starting line.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the General Secretary of the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA), Mr. Bawa Fuseini was also present at the launch. He acknowledged all the dignitaries, officials from the NSA, special assistance of the Regional Minister of Western Region, individuals, media, and senior and junior colleagues present at the launch.
“It is a privilege for me to be here to witness this beautiful launch. Since last year, the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) partnered with Willie in the Takoradi-Marathon and we sanctioned it last year and this year again. Unfortunately, last year, we had the fastest time recorded ever, within the 21-kilometer race. And it is the National Record, I hope this time somebody will beat the National Record. We were happy that the program was very successful. We hope this time they will do something better than last year and we hope for that. Whatever we are going to do, we have done it already with my friend from the National Sports Authority”.
“We have fully endorsed, the race and fully onboard. We just hope that it continues this way to the future. This race will be an international race not for only Ghanaians but other international athletes. The times we will be recording here should be also recognised internationally. We can use the time to compete for Ghana at any international competition. We can assure the organisers that we are working towards that and it will happen”.
“There is only one thing I would like to tell the organisers, the prize money should be paid immediately after the race or on time. We should be very mindful of what we promise and what we deliver. If we are not sure of the prizes we shouldn’t promise the athletes about it. Prizes must be ready and athletes must be aware of the packages available. If it’s GHC 2,000 or GHC 10,000 we should make it public as soon as possible, so when athletes are registering they are fully aware that am registering for this event. When I win I will get GHC 5,000 or GHC 10,000. As soon as the race is done the prizes must be ready, that is my only appeal to the organisers”, said Mr. Bawa Fuseini.
According to him the National Sports Authority and the Ghana Athletics Association are fully onboard and making sure that the Sekondi-Takoradi Marathon will become one of the biggest marathons in Africa.
Sekondi-Takoradi is also a tourist event because the Ghana Tourism Authority has also taken it on its calendar.
“I just want to encourage all of us to take part in this program. We will be responsible for all the people who will come to this region. Let’s all be ready to receive them well. Thank you very much”, said an official from the National Tourism Authority
Some dignitaries present were the Chief Director of the Western Regional Coordinating Council, Mr. Frederick Agyeman, Western Regional Director of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), Mr. Albert Quanus, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and the General Secretary of the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA), Mr. Bawa Fuseini, Portwel Boakye Yiadom GAA Official, General Manager of Medivents Consult and Project Manager of the Sekondi-Takoradi Marathon, Mr. Henri Seno Penni, General Manager of Total Marketing and Tours, Akpene Darko-Cobbina, officials from the National Tourism Authority, Pamela from the National Culture amongst others.