There have been concerns over the organisation of some marathons, notably the recently held Gaborone Mayor’s marathon, which has attracted criticism.
The board would be mandated with regulating and monitoring the races. It would also have the authority to take action against organisers or even cancel the race, if there are transgressions. The concerns were raised after the Gaborone Mayor’s marathon debacle over the weekend.
Some of the athletes found themselves lost as a result of unmarked route and absence of marshals.Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) spokesperson, Ipolokeng Ramatshaba said the establishment of a regulatory board is the responsibility of BAA board.
“BAA would have been the appropriate body to establish the board, but they have not been proactive. Maybe a regulatory board would suffice. Runners go through safety risks and the regulator would ensure that there are marshals, emergency services and provision of water during and after the race,” he said.
Mvungama said the board would assist with scheduling of races so that support partners like the police and medical support are able to support.
A senior lecturer, Department of Physical Education, Health and Recreation at the University of Botswana, Dr Tshepang Tshube said the BAA should provide leadership in setting up a regulatory board.
“One of the board’s roles would be to look at hosting rights, participants safety, technical officials and registration fees. There has been concern where participants and officials were not compensated,” Tshube said.
He said the influx of marathons is a response to the demand for exercise and physical activity engagements.
“There has been a significant increase in the number of marathon participants. Batswana are aware of the role of physical activity and exercise,” he said.