By Quegas Mutale in Binga
AMR Convent Secondary School of Lupane in the Catholic Archdiocese of Bulawayo participated in the Binga Kasambabezi Marathon for the first time on 21 October 2023.
Opening its doors in 2018, AMR secondary school is run by Ancillae Mariae Reginae (AMR) Sisters, according to the school bursar, Sr. Grace Moyo.
Mr. Ronald Siyamwamwata, the Sport and Recreation Officer at the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation in Binga, said that Binga Kasambabezi marathon is an annual athletics event inaugurated in 2017 and was held under the theme, ‘Running for our wildlife conservation’.
Sr. Moyo said: “This is the first marathon for AMR Convent Secondary School to attend. This is our starting point. We wish to participate on an annual basis, and we hope to bring more learners next time.”
The 10 learners consisting of seven boys and three girls who participated in the 10 km and 5km marathon in Binga were accompanied by their two Teachers, Miss Siphiwe Ndlovu and Mr. Ranius Manhivi who also enjoyed the experience.
Sr. Moyo expressed that the athletes who participated did their best as they did not face challenges as observed through completing their races. She expressed her gratitude to the school that funded the trip, and the Tusimpe Pastoral Centre for the hospitality of AMR athletes.
Sr. Moyo said another reason for participating in the marathon was to market the school as a new establishment in the area.
Three learners from AMR Convent Secondary School fell into the top 5 winners and were awarded prizes. In the 10km junior female race category, Filitor Mathe came 4th after running for 1 hour 4 minutes, and 18 seconds, and Panashe Mazombe came 5th after completing the race in 1 hour 5 minutes, and 15 seconds. In the 10km junior male category race, Limukani Ndlovu got the 5th position by running for 41 minutes and 45 seconds. The marathon had 5km, 10km and 21km races for the senior and junior categories, as well as the disability category.
In his speech, Mr. Never Mwinde, the administrator for Binga Local Board, who was the guest of honor called for the protection of natural resources and wildlife in Binga. This is in line with Pope Francis’ view expressed in the 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si’ paragraph 68 that: “This responsibility for God’s earth means that human beings, endowed with intelligence, must respect the laws of nature and the delicate equilibria existing between the creatures of this world.”
This year’s marathon attracted more than 500 athletes from different schools. Mr. Recent Ncube, chairperson for Binga Kasambabezi Marathon invited people to participate in next year’s marathon scheduled for 27 September 2024.