The annual Makeni Marathon that took place on the 26th. May, has seen one of the biggest turn oust since its inception last year. Unlike the previous one last year, this year has seen participants from all walks of life, including the old, the strong, disabled and the infirm. To add spice and grace to the occasion, the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma lead the line of runners. Sponsors for the event included African Minerals, Gambian Bird (official Airline), Afrigas, Africell, and many others not forgetting Amzas Hotel of Makeni.
The Marathon took a different slant as many dignitaries turned up for the event, including Chief Kasana, the Mayor of Makeni and Alhaji Amzas Koroma, the Minister of Defence, Palo Conteh. Other groups taking part included Freetown Hash Club .The event is in aid of “Street Child; Run for their Lives”, a UK based charity that is raising money for the disadvantaged children of Sierra Leone. According to reports, more than 3000 people took part in the event.
The Makeni Marathon is one of the biggest single events to take place in Makeni. According to the President, “The welfare of all children in Sierra Leone is very central to my government. The children of this country are our future and if we are to secure a future within the framework of our Agenda for Prosperity, no child should be left behind; as a safe and secure childhood is the best foundation we can give this country”. The president expressed his belief that the future of this country lies firmly in the hands of our children, and that all efforts, whether big or small should be made by everyone to support this drive.
The president also thanked all participants, including the event’s sponsors and the UK based Charity, Shelter, the medical, police and military staff that supported the event. He expressed his desire and hope that all monies raised will be geared towards the project, and also underlined his confidence in the event organisers; that much more could be achieved if we all come together as one. As part of his drive to secure the welfare of children in this country, he encouraged all parents to consider their children as the future and that his government will strive to maintain the free healthcare for the Under Fives and lactating mothers, which he has initiated to promote a sustainable health system.