Ambassador Ashim Morton, Managing Partner of the Millennium Marathon Sports Company has revealed that the vision of Ghana’s biggest sports event has been realized in the regional capitals where the awareness and sensitization of sports tourism and national revolution on healthy lifestyle was achieved; hence the readiness to host the International Millennium Marathon on Saturday September 5 in Accra.
Speaking to the media in an exclusive interview, Ashim Morton said the Regional Millennium Marathons were a great success with the Volta Region coming out as tops in terms of mass participation and massive enthusiasm.
With the Western Region capital Takoradi to go this weekend, he praised the athletes from Koforidua in the Eastern Region who registered the fastest time, and Tamale in the Northern region for hosting the historic first Regional Millennium Marathon and all the Ministers who participated fully, especially the Central Regional Minister.
He advised Ghanaians to register to participate in the first ever International Marathon to reduce medical bills and win the two cars at stake and other fantastic prizes, than allow other nationals from East Africa to grab them away.
The Runners Up pick $3,000 and $1,500 respectively, plus other prizes coming from stakeholders and partners.
The Embassies of Britain, Brazil, Columbia Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria have confirmed their participation whilst the responses of 30 other African countries are on the waiting list.
According to Amb Morton, the objective of the event is to create the atmosphere with the awareness to fitness and healthy living as well as opportunity for international business, because an Expo would be held for six days at the Aviation Social Center where companies with sports and health wares and services will have the opportunity to exhibit and expose themselves to the public at very close range.
“We are narrow-casting the stake holders to this Expo from August 29 to September 4, 2015 and we want every sports and health conscious Ghanaian to take part. I take this opportunity to invite all to a Pasta Party on September 4 to enjoy carbohydrates and spaghetti and learn the tit bits in winning the marathon like avoiding plenty water” he said.
Amb. Morton hinted that the idea of organizing a marathon came to his mind after meeting Haile Grabresalase when he received the LifeTime African Achievement Prize Awards ceremony in Akwabion, Nigeria where the Ethiopian Legend won the Black Star Prize which inspired him for closer links and contacts, before they planned for what will bring Accra to a standstill for two hours on Saturday September 5 at the historic Independence Square.
He observed that the day is a Sanitation Day and promised to rally the massive participants and educate them on environmental cleanness which attracts tourists and guests.
He thanked the stake holders, especially Peugeot, who through WATS Ghana Ltd donated two salon cars at a discount price and Alisa Hotel, Aviation Social Center, Manet, FanMilk, Coca-Cola, Adidas, Airtel, The Royal Bank, CAL Bank, First Atlantic Bank, Tullow and Total among many others who value sports as a tool for international cohesion and healthy lifestyle.
Amb Morton also commended the government for is its support, especially the Mayor of Accra, Hon. Alfred Okoe Vanderpuje and the Security Agencies.
The Tennis and Marathon enthusiast urged Ghanaians to be creative in Sports Management and Marketing with proposals that will contribute to the development and promotion of quality health style and quality education.
“Ghana Sports is boring, that’s why people watch the Premiership. They have nothing to do and we have much to do but we do not know. I pray that Ghana produce healthy people who are fit to turn the natural resources to useful resources, we have quality people with great ideas, so opportunities must be created” he noted.
“On my free days I watch the Ethiopia Great Run, London Marathon, Boston Marathon or play Tennis to remain fit and healthy” he revealed.
He said the Millennium Marathon is the chance to be educated on healthy cardiovascular mindset to prepare the heart to accommodate the distance gradually.
“This is the beginning of an annual event and we are bound to face challenges or make mistakes, however we have learnt a lot from the regions and I can say we are ready for the event. This is an opportunity to walk, jog or run and socialize, despite tight security with the attendance of dignitaries”.
He congratulated all the National Orgainising Committee (NOC) members, the Sub Committee Members, the Accra Metropolitan Authority (AMA) officials, staff of the Millennium Marathon Sports Company, the Ministry of Youth & Sports, National Sports Authority (NSA) and the media especially GTV Sports Plus and the Graphic Sports.
Amb. Ashim Morton, an Entrepreneur and Architect by profession is married with four children, many siblings and a descendant of the Asantehene, king of Ashanti Kingdom.
The MOBA member noted that a Marathon Academy would be created to train the top ten runners in both male and female categories and be groomed for international competition for Ghana.
He stressed those corporate bodies who wish to organize marathons or other sports events to contact them for exclusive first class service and other entertainment projects.
The next event coming up after the Millennium Marathon on September 5 is the Millennium Excellence Awards in December this year.