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SPEDU bid to host Toyota 1000km Desert Race

Publishing Date : 20 August, 2018

Author : TAPELA MORAPEDI

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SPEDU, Dr Mokubung Mokubung announced recently at the Orange Phikwe Marathon Reception Dinner that the SPEDU Region will put in a bid to host the next Toyota 100km Desert Race(TDR) in an effort to diversify sport tourism.


Dr Mokubung said that SPEDU has taken a good firm look at how they can deliver economic diversification promise that their name carries by not only seeking to diversify the regional economy through sport tourism, but to also diversify sport tourism itself.


“Critical stakeholders in the SPEDU Region plan to expand the Region’s sport tourism portfolio by adding to it the Toyota 1000km Desert Race which holds the record of being Botswana’s biggest sporting and social event of the year,” announced Dr Mokubung, who noted that putting up a bid to host the event is a bold move and an ambitious undertaking on which he hopes to receive support from all stakeholders to make the bid successful.


Dr Mokubung’s words might have warmed up the heart of the Town Mayor, Molosiwa Molosiwa who had earlier on in his welcome remarks asked President Mokgweetsi Masisi to help them achieve their dream of hosting Mantshwabisi as the TDR is popularly known.


Reportedly, the race will this year be held in Gantsi Region, moving away from Jwaneng which has been home for the much loved off-road motor spectacle for the past years after moving from Mantshwabisi. With SPEDU company flexing its muscle to skew the axis to SPEDU Region, it remains to be seen which region will host one the biggest regional off-road races which is regarded a curtain raiser for the Dakar Rally.


The SPEDU executive revealed that the World Trade Organisation recognises sport tourism as an emerging market and classifies sport as the number one industry in the leisure sector and therefore it is incumbent upon the Region “to seize this transformative business potential with both hands.”


He said the SPEDU Region has all the fundamentals in place, wide open areas, suitable terrain, adequate infrastructure and facilities that can accommodate visitors, a town that has amassed a wealth of experience in hosting an international sport event in the form of the IAAF accredited Phikwe National Marathon and a warm-hearted welcoming community. These fundamentals, Dr Mokubung said gives them confidence that the Region can host the next TDR and to that end, the region will definitely put in a bid to host the event.


“Our expectation is that the Desert Race will compliment what the marathon already does for SPEDU Region which is empower local traders, create employment, provide a marketing platform for companies, serve as a stakeholder map to deliver the marathon on an annual basis, connect Selebi Phikwe with surrounding villages, promote the town as an investment destination and create a relationship between the local business community, general public as well as with the private and public sector,” he said.


About Phikwe National Marathon
The CEO stated that as part of the Tourism Development Strategy for the SPEDU Region, events have been prioritised to stimulate the economy and Phikwe National Marathon is to be held every year without fail. He commended President Masisi for investing the prestige of his office in the Orange Phikwe National Marathon by being its patron, saying that the president’s patronage will in turn enhance the prestige of the marathon and attract both runners and investors to Selebi Phikwe.


Dr Moubung commended Orange for its support and promised that while this year was Orange‘s final year of the three year sponsorship, SPEDU and Selebi Phikwe Town Council (SPTC) will continue to support the race and further assist in identifying other sponsors for the sporting event which forms part of the town’s history which needs to be preserved by holding the event every year.


“Hosting an IAAF accredited marathon demands a substantial amount of choreography that plays itself out over an extended period of time. In that regard, I want to thank the Local Organising Committee for the hard work and dedication that its members have put in to deliver a marathon of this magnitude. This marathon is an international event and by that measure alone, affirms our status as international citizens,” said Dr Mokubung.


He commended the Organising Committee further noting that the committee’s diligence in putting the marathon together has made the people of Selebi Phikwe, SPEDU Region and Batswana in general to look good to the world, further pointing out that the experience gained by committee members can be transferred to other event management projects of similar nature.


Other SPEDU sponsored events that have been held in the SPEDU Region across various sectors include the games for parastatals under the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry, Maunatlala Agricultural Show, Bobonong Agricultural Show, Selebi Phikwe Softball Extravaganza Tournament, Mmadinare Agricultural Show, Selebi Phikwe Trade and Exhibition Show and Tour de Tuli.

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