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MTN Kampala Marathon targets 15,000 participants as a New route is unveiled

Release date:10/6/2009
Kampala, Uganda: Preparations for the 6th MTN Kampala Marathon have begun in earnest with the unveiling of the new route for the November 22, 2009 event. The new route will be flagged off from Kololo Airstrip for the 10 kilometres, 21 kilometres and 42 kilometres races.
The organizers of this year’s event hope to register 15,000 participants, up from 11,000 last year and raise even more money for the Uganda Red Cross interventions in Northern Uganda which have in the past included the Mama Bag Kit, where proceeds have gone towards aiding expectant mothers to have safe delivery as well as resettling them from IDP camps there.
Speaking at MTN Towers during the unveiling of the upcoming event, MTN’s Chief Marketing Officer, Isaac Nsereko said, "This year, proceeds from individual and corporate participants will go to the Uganda Red Cross intervention programs in Northern Uganda.
In the past, only proceeds obtained from corporate participation have been going to the Mama Bag project through which over 9,000 mothers have received help since the first marathon in 2003. And so whilst we are happy to have raised over UGX 189 million over the past 6 years, we hope to raise even more this year and help more mothers to resettle and improve on their quality of life."
Last year, approximately UGX 67.5m was collected from the marathon which was used to buy Mama Bag Kits for approximately 500 expectant mothers in Otwal Sub County, Oyam district. The distribution of these kits took place earlier this year when MTN officials accompanied by corporate partners that included Uganda Wildlife Authority, DFCU Bank and Rwenzori Water among others travelled to the area to carry out the distribution themselves.
The move to Kololo Airstrip will come as a welcome relief to the thousands of expectant runners as the grounds promise a more expansive and larger set off point. Local and regional elite athletes are expected to take part in large numbers and thus increase competitiveness and the profile of the event internationally.
"In the past we have heard names such as Kipsiro and Inzikuru take part in the marathon, which is very good. But we want more such names from all over the world, which in the long run will help have the marathon added onto the IAAF annual calendar and to receive international stature. This will make Kampala one of the most renowned marathon cities such as London, Berlin and New York," added Nsereko.
About the MTN GROUP
Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a multinational telecommunications group, operating in 21 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: "MTN". As at 30 September 2009, MTN recorded 108,4 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. The MTN Group is a global sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ and has exclusive mobile content rights for Africa and the Middle East. Please visit www.mtn.com andwww.mtnfootball.com