GREAT ETHIOPIAN RUN BECOMES THE FIRST WINNER OF THE AIMS SOCIAL AWARD
The world running organisation the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) is delighted to announce the Great Ethiopian Run as the winner of the inaugural AIMS Social Award.
The award, which highlights races working towards achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals*, was presented to the successful Ethiopian 10km race during the first AIMS Best Marathon Runner Awards Gala Dinner on Friday (8 November 2013) in Athens, Greece.
Left to Right: Vassilis Sevastis, General Secretary of SEGAS, Marianna Vardinogianni, Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO, Dagmawit Amare Strategic and Innovation Manager for the Great Ethiopian Run, Martha Morales, AIMS Vice President.
The eight Millennium Development Goals include eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, combatting disease, decreasing child mortality, promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and ensuring environmental stability.
Also shortlisted for the AIMS Social Award were Colombia’s Maratón de Las Flores Medellín and Algeria’s Sahara Marathon.
One of the Great Ethiopian Run’s main objectives is to introduce mass-participation running events throughout Ethiopia, working specifically towards fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals. In 2011 these events took place in Gambella and Jimma, and in 2012 in Semera and Harar. For 2013 the Great Ethiopian Run staged one race promoting the ambition to ‘narrow the gap to meet the Millennium Development Goals,’ which took place in January in Gondar. There will be similar races held next year in Axum and Arba Minch.
The Great Ethiopian Run has in the past focused on specific campaigns such as awareness of AIDS and Mossy Foot.** As the country’s most well-known race, their public position has encouraged the organisation of many other running events in Ethiopia, a number of which have also focused on similar health awareness campaigns.
One of the Great Ethiopian Run’s recent campaigns is the ‘Every One’ campaign which they have been conducting through the Hawassa Half Marathon, aiming to reduce infant and maternal mortality. This initiative has been running for four years, inspired by the death of Great Ethiopian Run Patron Haile Gebrselassie’s mother due to birth-related complications.
As well as this Haile runs two schools in Asela and Bahirdar, which are there to support the local communities and provide education to students who may not be able to pay the school fee. The Great Ethiopian Run also organises a series of races which help to highlight the importance of education for girls.
Paco Borao, President of AIMS said: “I am delighted that the Great Ethiopian Run has won the first ever AIMS Social Award. They have demonstrated a number of excellent initiatives working towards the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, playing an important part to help improve the lives of the people of Ethiopia. All the entries we received were of very high quality and used excellent strategies to achieve a number of the goals, including those of the two impressive runners up, the Maratón de Las Flores Medellín and the Sahara Marathon. I am pleased we have been able to highlight their work through this award and hope that many other races around the world will follow their examples when thinking of the social benefits their events can provide.”
Dagmawit Amare, Strategic and Innovation Manager at the Great Ethiopian Run added: “It is a great honour to receive this first AIMS Social Award on behalf of the Great Ethiopian Run. Great Ethiopian Run stages races throughout Ethiopia including the biggest road race in Africa for 37,000 people. Almost all our races carry strong messages on current social issues, closely related to the UN Millennium Development Goals. Through this we hope to show that sport can bring opportunities and positive change. We are very happy that AIMS has recognised this and awarded us.
Great Ethiopian Run is member of AIMS
”Great Ethiopian Run is member of AIMS (Association of International Marathon and Distance Races). The objectives of the Association are:
• Foster and promote distance running throughout the world.
• Work with the International Association of Athletic Federations on all matters relating to international road races, and
• Exchange information, knowledge and expertise among the members of the Association.
AIMS members has grown to over 300 in over 90 countries/territories with most of the world's premier marathons and many other major road races as members.
Great Ethiopian Run has been a member of AIMS since 2005. AIMS is also committed to social initiatives such as the AIMS Children Series, the AIMS Museum of Running and the AIMS Symposium. In 2007 and 2008 has been supporting AIMS Children Race Series in Addis Ababa.
To see the AIMS Race Calendar follow the link below.
AIMS Race Calendar