The Accra Marathon race is set to make a triumphant return on November 11, 2023, following a landmark move by the First National Bank (FNB) and the Dansoman Keep Fit Club (DKFC) who signed a momentous five-year partnership agreement to breathe life back into the prestigious event, which has been dormant for the past six years.
The colourful ceremony at the bank’s headquarters in Accra yesterday heralded the revival of the nation’s premier long-distance event, now rebranded as “First National Bank Accra Marathon”.
The CEO of First National Bank Ghana, Warren Adams, expressed his excitement at partnering the Dansoman Keep Fit Club and other major stakeholders to provide this platform for young and professional athletes, giving them the experience of an international competition and helping them to excel.
“Today, we gather to unveil a partnership that not only strengthens First National Bank’s commitment to Ghana, but also exemplifies our dedication to promoting sports, fitness and nurturing a communal spirit of togetherness. We are here to proudly announce that from today, First National Bank is the headline sponsor of the Accra Marathon.”
“We are excited about the journey ahead and I am confident that this partnership for the next five years will bring positive change to our communities, budding stars and professional athletes,” Mr. Adams added.
He encouraged the populace to stay tuned for more updates and exciting announcements as the preparations for the incredible celebration of fitness, community and togetherness is ongoing.
The Marketing and Corporate Affairs Manager of the FNB, Dela Dzidzienyo also said the bank was looking at how to nurture new talents, to build that sense of community for the country and the various communities hence the partnership with the Dansoman club.
“This is a very big sponsorship opportunity for us because over the last couple of years, we have been looking for an opportunity where we can partner with institutions that can help grow and build our communities and also help nurture new talents across the different disciplines of sports,” Dzidzienyo said.
For his part, the Chairman of the Dansoman Keep Fit Club, organisers of the event since 1986, Benjamin Ahulu, stressed the club’s resolve to revive the prestigious mass sports event because of the significance of the competition to the club, the Dansoman community and the country at large.
He indicated that the partnership with First National Bank aligned perfectly with the club’s mission to promote community well-being and also underscored their commitment to fostering a healthier and more active lifestyle for everyone.
“We are delighted that First National Bank has come to the rescue of the Accra Marathon and revived the hopes of the nation’s long-distance athletes.
He thanked the leadership of the bank for the partnership, saying, “it’s our hope that we will sustain and surpass the successes that were achieved in previous years’ marathon.”
“We look forward to an incredible marathon event and the positive impact it will have on our city,” he added.
The maiden First National Bank Accra Marathon promises an exciting line-up of races, including the intensive 42.2-kilometre run which tests the endurance of professional athletes, a five-kilometre run for students and a 10-kilometre race dedicated to corporate entities.
Mr. Ahulu indicated that the starter’s gun would go for the main event at its traditional starting point at The Point, near the Nungua Barrier, before winding through some principal streets of Accra and concluding at the Dansoman Keep Fit Club grounds.
He, however, indicated that there would be a slight variation of the route due to ongoing road construction works in the capital.
In addition, the organisers are exploring the introduction of chip timing technology to time runners digitally and eliminate the challenges with the manual timing system, as well as explore a virtual marathon in partnership with other fitness clubs.
This initiative will provide an alternative for those who prefer indoor participation, as treadmills will be available for the virtual marathon which will run parallel to the street race.
To give practical meaning of the race’s commitment to the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, medical check-ups and a blood donation exercise in communities along the route have been integrated into the new chapter of the illustrious sporting event which attracts several hundreds of participants across the country and foreign athletes annually.
Credit: Graphic Sports