In light of the uncertainties brought about by the Covid-19 global pandemic, the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon scheduled to take place on October 25th, 2020 will not be held.
Announcing the decision, Chairman of the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon Local Organising Committee, Peter Gitau said the uncertainty presented by COVID-19 and the containment measures required created a set of unprecedented challenges.
“Our consultations with Athletics Kenya and the Ministry of Sports clearly indicated that we would not be able to plan for a physical event with any certainty. We then considered a virtual marathon event and consulted other stakeholders, amongst them, running clubs, coaches, and past corporate running teams. After benchmarking with local and international virtual races our conclusion was that this format promoted improved safety but for it to be successful it still required the majority of participants to leave their homes in order to cover the race distances; a move that could compromiseCOVID-19 preventive measure protocols.”
“We have therefore made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 edition of the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon,” Mr. Gitau said. “This was not an easy decision to make. We have held the marathon annually for 17 years, and 2020 was to be no different. However, the depth and scale of COVID – 19 is unprecedented and remains hard to predict.”
Mr. Gitau added that the consultations had provided the Bank with useful insights that would be taken on board for future marathons.
“For instance, across the country, people are taking up running to support their health and wellbeing, from running tracks to neighborhood pavements and even their own compounds. Additionally, digital and virtual communities are gaining momentum fostering new interaction, connection, and spaces for running enthusiasts, to gather and support each other. And, the resilience and optimism to rise above the challenges of this pandemic are a testament to our collective hope to create a better future for ourselves and others. These insights will help us in planning our marathons in the future.”
Last year, the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon attracted over 17,000 participants and raised over KShs.30 million towards the community investment program, FutureMakers which provides youth in need with education, employment, and entrepreneurship opportunities. In 2019, these fundraising efforts supported over 4,400 girls with life skills and economic opportunity training, and the Bank also invested Kshs 15 million to support women-led start-ups. Additionally, more than 650 youth and SMEs received financial literacy training.
Our investment and support for our youth continue this year, despite COVID-19, we are providing more than 3,500 girls and young women with education and empowerment opportunities. We are investing Kshs 15 million to training and grow SME women-led businesses, and we will train and support over 3,700 young men and women with employment skills, including ably different youth with visual impairments, among others.
“We are also committed to helping our communities tackle COVID-19 and we have already donated over Kshs 120 million to support vulnerable children, as well as provision of primary and secondary health care for COVID-19 emergency response. We will continue to help communities recover and rebuild from the pandemic and its impacts.”