Dhiraagu has this week launched its 2012 Broadband Road Race, which will be held in Male’ on June 29 under the banner of the local telecoms group’s corporate social responsibility programme.
The road race, which organisers claim is the largest running event in the country’s athletic calender, is now in its sixth year.
According to the company, some 1,500 runners – made up of professional athletes, fun runners, local and multinational business, schools and sport teams – were estimated to have participated in last year’s race.
Speaking to media at the launch of this year’s event at Male’s Nasandhura Palace Hotel yesterday, Dhiraagu representatives said the company hoped for an even bigger turnout in 2012. The race is organised in collaboration with the Athletics Association of the Maldives.
Dhiraagu spokesperson Imjad Jaleel told Minivan News that aside from serving as an official event in the country’s athletic calender for both professional and amateur runners, the race was primarily devised by the company to support fund-raising initiatives for local issues.
“There are real concerns here about issues of domestic violence and child abuse, we hope that charities can use this event for fundraising as well as raising awareness of their work locally,” he said.
Jaleel stressed that the road race had been devised by the company in 2007 additionally as a means to promote healthier lifestyles in the country.
“Due to the lack of space in Male’, it was not possible to host an official marathon as participants would have to run around Male’ five or six times,” he added.
Communications Manager Mohamed Mirshan Hassan told local media that aside from devising and hosting the race, Dhiraagu’s fund raising commitments were based on encouraging its staff to play a more personal role.
“We see this event more as a social platform for NGO s to raise funds as well as awareness of their campaigns,” he said. “However, senior colleagues from Dhiraagu ran last years event raising about Rf80,000 between them. This is a good example for others in how the event can be used for fund-raising.”
The company estimated that about one hundred of its employees are expected to participate in the race this year, reflecting strong “personal support” for the event.
Dhiraagu claimed during yesterday’s launch that it was also looking to work with sponsors and athletic associations to further increase the scale of the event by increasing the number of participants taking part in the 2012 race.
Organisers said they will also be providing prizes in several different categories for both male and female amateur and professional runners. Schools, sports clubs, NGOs and resort operators are also being invited to take part in the race.
Professional and amateur runners will be competing for respective cash prises, with other awards being presented to the most successful teams and schools. Special accolades will also be given for the oldest participant in the run.
More information on the race, as well as online application forms for both individual and team participants can be found on the event’s official site.