Two popular races on the way despite controversy


The Great Ethiopian Run (GER) and Charities and Civil Societies Agency (CCSA) are discussing to resolve the problem of licensing of GER and how to continue the most popular road race event in the continent.
GER was registered as a charitable organization with the Ministry of Justice. However, it failed to involve in the required activities as a charitable organization and involved in activities defined as profitable.

Haile Gebreselassie founder and board chairman of GER said that negotiations between the two entities are smoothly going and added that GER will be registered as a private entity after December 2012. “In the first place, we tried to register as a private company. We requested assistance from the Athletics Federation but have not get anything. It was a final option for us to register as a charitable organization” he added.
Haile further said that the event cannot be in anyway stopped considering its success in the last 12 years. “If I want to kill the race I cannot do it; nobody cannot stop the race after now, the race will continue to flourish in the years to come” Haile said. 
Haile said that the money in the account of GER is intended to make the annual road race self-sustained. “We did not want to stop the annual activities if we couldn’t find sponsors. Therefore we have kept some money for securing the continuity of the Great Run,” he said.
Assefa Tesfaye Head of Public Relation with the CCSA said that the ten million birr found in the account of GER will be put in financing the Athletics Villages that are being constructed around the country. He also affirmed that the negotiations are smooth as the event is contributed a lot to the image building of the country.
GER was registered as an NGO in 2001 to undertake a mass street running race in accordance with the proclamation.
In related development in the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia Great Ethiopian Run, 32,000 places were snapped within two weeks after registration was opened in April. This year’s race which will be on Sunday 25th of November will coincide with the 125th anniversary of Addis Ababa and will form part of the series of activities planned by the Addis Ababa City Administration to celebrate it.
The Great Ethiopian Run organizing team introduced a new system of registration where participants registered earlier in the year, giving details of their preferred t-shirt size which will then be issued at a new sports expo being staged in the week leading up to the race. The new system also aims to reduce the number of black market t-shirts sales which has become a feature of the event since it became Africa’s biggest road race back in 2002.
Now just four thousand places remain and are being sold at a premium price in support of the race’s Run official fundraising campaign known as “Running for a Child”. The campaign, now in its 8th year, is being jointly promoted by the UN in Ethiopia and Great Ethiopian Run and focuses on social protection and welfare programs benefitting children in four nominated Ethiopian organizations.
Another exciting race in the same weekend will be the “Because I’m a Girl” campaign race done in collaboration with the Ethiopian Great Run and Plan International. “Because I am a Girl” campaign aims to support millions of girls to get education, skills and support they needed to transform their lives and the world around them. Hence, Plan International Ethiopia shall run its “Because I am a Girl” campaign under its motto “End Child Marriage. Educate the Girl. Make a Difference” for the next three years aimed at supporting all children to realize and release their full potentials and skills. For this year’s race organizers have included two new categories which are children under 5 years and children with disabilities. 3500 children are expected to participate and the fee for registration is 40 birr.
The registration for this race will begin on the 8th of October 2012 and the actual race will be held on Saturday November 24th 2012.