May 14 each year is observed as Unification Day in Liberia. As part of this year’s observance of the Day, Liberia’s premiere Sports Betting Company, Winners Inc sponsored the first Marathon under the presidency of President George Manneh Weah which in a spirit of unity, saw thousands of Liberians and non Liberians resident in Liberia participating in the 10K and 5K, especially females.
The Winners Marathon proved to be quite successful, but a bit unusual as everyone that participated in the 5K and 10K race celebrated as they received prizes and gifts from the company, though they were not the declared first, second, third or fourth place winners.
The management of Winners, relying on its desire to be a good Corporate Citizen in Liberia declared that every person in the May 14 Unification Day Marathon was a winner, giving away money, rice, wrist bands, umbrellas, caps and many other valuable gifts with a cost value of well over US$50,000. Those who received the various items remarked that this has never happened before in the history of Liberia and praised Winners, Inc as a true supporter of the Pro-Poor Agenda.
The Winners’ Unification Day Marathon 10K race started from the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center in Sinkor and the 5K race started from the new Ministerial Complex in Congo and saw, for the first time, more women and young girls participating, showing great stamina as they moved through the streets running their way from JFK and the Ministerial Complex to the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville the designated end-point for the Marathon where winners and participants were generously awarded.
The crowd went wild with screams of approval when Nancy Saah and Erica Johnson walked away as female winners, receiving L$100,000 and L$50,000 respectively as first and second runner-ups in the 5K race, a first in recent marathon history in Liberia.
According to Mr. Yacob Batshon, the President & owner of Winners Inc, organizing the Marathon was his company’s way of giving back to Liberia in a healthy way while supporting the advancement of women and female athletes in Liberia. With presence in Liberia for over 10 years, the Sports Betting Company’s Owner & President who himself runs and exercises daily and is a sports enthusiast, said that the company has always been
inspired by the vision and attitude of President George Weah and organized the Marathon to honor his Presidency and celebrate his great exploits in sports around the world. Batshon says he believes that embracing sports and a healthy lifestyle can help the nation and its people, affirming that supporting and protecting young women and girls and giving them a platform to excel remains a key priority of his company.