Africa’s highest profile road race, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is set to give the Mother City’s economy a multi-million rand boost when it takes place on September 20.
The annual road racing festival – which is the only marathon in Africa to receive IAAF Silver Label status – comprises the 42km City Marathon, 10km Peace Run, 4.2km Community Fun Run, and 22km and 11km Peace Trail Runs.
While the impact of sport and recreation events is still largely unquantified, estimates put the sector’s contribution to the Western Cape GDP at R8 billion per annum.
The Cape Town Marathon alone attracted 12 0000 participants from 53 countries. At least a quarter of these came from areas outside the Western Cape and 3.5 per cent from foreign countries.
Research presented at last year’s inaugural Cape Town PEACE Conference, held on the sidelines of the marathon, showed major opportunities exist to position sport and recreation as a sector with a comparative advantage in increasing economic growth.
Race director Janet Welham said there was tremendous potential for a mass-participation sport like the road race to have a positive socio-economic impact.
“We believe we can add to and support what has already been achieved by existing events in order to provide real support to local communities,” said Welham.
“Studies have shown sport and recreation can be used as a vehicle to provide a significant financial boost. We are confident we will continue to achieve this goal as the race expands.”
For more news see Cape Town Marathon.