- This is the rationale behind the annual Diacore Gaborone Marathon
The positive link between physical exercise and its effects on preventing the onset and progression of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) is well-established.
Regrettably, the battle is far from over because NCDs account for more than 45 percent of deaths in Botswana to-date while key indicators of the prevalent causes of NCDs such as unhealthy diets, limited fibre intake and minimal physical activity by Batswana remain a serious concern.
Exercise and marathon culture increasingly attract participants not only for the big race but for the regular preparatory efforts before the events. All of these contribute to healthier mindsets and physical form. This is the rationale behind the annual Diacore Gaborone Marathon (DGM), the flagship sporting event brought to life by Diacore Botswana.
Said Kfir Teichman, Managing Director of Diacore Group: “We conceived the idea for the marathon in 2013 because we wanted to find a way to bring together the community at large for a fun and healthy way to engage and to bring greater attention to healthier living.
Diacore Botswana is alive to the fact that NCDs are a national concern, and we are committed to encouraging people to make the necessary lifestyle changes to help combat this. Whether you want to run 42km or 21km, or even simply do a fun 5km when we say it is time to #RiseRunShine, we mean it for the long-term.”
According to the Botswana Multi-Sectoral Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases 2018-2023, NCDs have progressively become a leading cause of death globally, claiming 40.5 million lives annually and accounting for more deaths than HIV, TB and malaria combined.
The extent is the same for Botswana, with the daunting effects of NCDs now more visible than ever in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, hence Diacore Botswana outlook that collaborative partnerships are key for creating sustainable and lasting impact.
Over the years, Diacore Botswana has forged partnerships with Botswana’s biggest corporations and stakeholders to pool resources and expertise for the marathon. This is in support of Botswana’s Multi-Sectoral Strategy that aims to achieve 80 percent of the general population with NCD prevention awareness by 2023 and 80 percent of community structures supporting quality and cost-effective NCD prevention interventions by 2023.
“Things are changing and must change,”said Teichman. “We have over 10 000 registrations already for this year’s DGM and even our partners such as Botswana Medical Aid Society and Mascom have been strategically engaged because this goes beyond just a single day.
Bodies, hearts and minds
“It is about getting people to move, to take care of their bodies, hearts and minds and adopt a healthier lifestyle. This was the impetus behind establishing the Diacore Marathon and remains a key driver to-date, with 10 DGM editions held to date.
“We all have a role to play in fighting NCDs and investing in well-being. At Diacore Botswana, we take this incredibly seriously.”
Beyond the marathon, Diacore Botswana passionately drives additional initiatives aimed at championing wellness and well-being.
These include organising fitness challenges for internal stakeholders, providing employee wellness programmes, and sponsoring other sporting events in Botswana such as the annual tournaments between diamond companies sponsored by Botswana Diamond Manufacturers Association (BDMA).
Whether one is attending an activation ahead of Diacore Marathon 2023, or simply training alone before the big day, it is crucial to realise that this is more than simply a race or a one-off marathon. It is a way to reclaim healthy living and changing the national narrative on Batswana’s health status.