NAIROBI, September 26 – More than 400 athletes are expected to take part in this year’s Desert Run is scheduled on the 11th of October in Garissa.,
Category winners of the race which will be held at Garissa Primary School will get cash prizes as well as scholarships.
The winners of the 21km race will be awarded Sh100,000 while the second and third place gets Sh50,000 and Sh25,000 respectively. For the 5km and 10 km races the winning teams will be awarded Sh20,000 and Sh50,000 respectively.
The event seeks to create awareness on the social economic potential of Northern Kenya and will offer scholarship for the best girls who have qualified for University from the region as envisioned in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’S)
“The run is an initiative which seeks to increase enrollment and retention of girls in the school system in Northern Kenya as well as advocate and facilitate access to secondary and higher education for all girls within the province,” Women’s Empowerment Link (WEL) director Gladys Mbugua said.
“The run was initiated three years ago and will have a 5km fun race for family and friends, 10km race for university and 21 km race for top athletes, all in support of girls’ education in the region,” Mbugua added.
In the last three years, 29 girls have been provided with school fees with the support of Tana and Athi River Development Authority (TARDA) organization.
Sports secretary Daniel Maanzo said the government was in full support of run initiative which seeks to merge sports and girl child education.
“With proper federations that promote sports we aim to develop talent in the arid and semi arid areas with good sporting curriculum and raise funds for them to go school,” Maanzo stated.
Maanzo however urged Kenyans to take part in the event.
“Sports can make a contribution to the right of the girl child in Northern Kenya, so everyone in the country should support the initiative after excellent results in Beijing,” he said.
This year the run has been registered under the Desert Trust Management (DTM) supported by the government through ministry of Development of Northern Kenya together with Coca Cola and Cordaid.