MTN Uganda on Thursday announced that the 2018 MTN Marathon season raised Shs600m which will go towards the improvement of maternal health. The MTN Foundation also announced its contribution of an additional Shs400m make a total of Shs1bn in proceeds as the telecommunications company celebrates 20-year anniversary of MTN in Uganda. This is the highest amount ever raised from the 15-year legacy of the MTN Marathon. The successful implementation of three inaugural regional marathons in Mbale, Gulu and Mbarara on top of the MTN Kampala Marathon was noted as a contributing fact to the growth of the Marathon to an event of national stature. “We would like to thank all that participated in the MTN Marathon Season that took place in November last year. This was the first time we took the MTN Marathon beyond Kampala to two more regions. The participation was impressive as Ugandans came together and have raised money for the improvement of maternal health. That is the power of connections,” said Wim Vanhelleputte, the MTN CEO during the announcement of the proceeds at the Stanbic Uganda headquarters, Crested Towers.
There were over 30,000 people that participated in the MTN Marathon Season 2018, including several first timers and elite runners. The regional marathon generated excitement as numbers for a first-time event seemed rather overwhelming. At the main MTN Kampala Marathon, the revised and improved route meant improved times and a better running experience for elite runners, fun runners and marathon enthusiasts. About Shs140m was spent on prize money for the MTN Marathon Season. The MTN Marathon proceeds will be shared equally by five regions – Central, North, East, West and South West – with focus on health centres in the region. Each of the partners of the MTN Marathon will be responsible for implementation of a project in a specific region. “In order to involve all our partners in the implementation process, we made the decision that each partner takes ownership of a project in each region. We did this in order to involve partners beyond just participate beyond just sponsoring the main event,” Vanhelleputte added. Last year, Stanbic Bank contributed Shs250m towards the MTN Marathon, Huawei contributed Shs250m and was also represented by over 200 staff who took part in the marathon to make maternal health better in Uganda while through Rwenzori pure Natural Mineral Water brand, Coca-Cola contributed Shs150m towards the Marathon both in cash and in kind, collected 254kgs of plastic and 300 employees participated in the marathon.