By Nikos Krinis, GTP
Leading companies, Non-Governmental Organizations and a great number of volunteers will be at the 32nd Athens Marathon start line on 9 November 2014.
The “Athens Marathon. The Authentic,” apart from its historical, athletic, cultural and touristic dimension, will also display another very important one, its humanitarian profile, as part of the proceeds will be donated to support the important role of various social organizations and associations.
Last year the Athens Marathon raised some 200,000 euros that was distributed for social purposes. The bar has been set much higher this year, according to the Hellenic Athletics Federation (SEGAS).
SEGAS held a press conference in Athens on 21 October on the social contribution of the event and introduced the “social allies” of the Athens Marathon, The Authentic.
Hellenic Association of Mass popular Sports and Ultra-running clubs (EOSLMA-Y)
“Fifty percent of the proceeds from the participation of our athletes we will go to the three institutions, the Smile of the Child, the Floga in Volos (Local association of Parents of Children with Cancer) and the Special Centre for Disabled Children in Pyrgos, Ilia.” The association was established in 2006 and has 59 clubs and 6,000 runners. Every year it organizes over 200 races throughout the country in cooperation with local authorities.
MDA Hellas-Runner magazine
“I want to thank SEGAS for the opportunity it gives the NGOs for the last five years to participate in the celebration that is named Athens Marathon… The MDA-Runner group is distinguished by two main features: the love of running and the offer to other humans. The basic philosophy is: It is not how you run … but why!” The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Hellas is an organization that aims to combat muscular dystrophy and diseases of the nervous system and muscular system in general.
The representative for the company Be Best, Vangelis Charalambous, spoke in regards to the ERGO “Authentic” Marathon Expo 2014, which will take place the weekend of 6-8 November, before the Marathon, at the TaeKwonDo Indoor Hall & Exhibition Centre at Palio Faliro. “It is an exhibition of 4500sqm. in size, With 140 exhibitors and involves runners and people who engage in sports, nutrition and health. This year, we will hold a Jumba Marathon and proceeds will be donated to MDA Hellas.”
Doctors Without Borders
“This is the third consecutive year that we are participating in the marathon with our team. This year, 250 runners will run in all races and in total, our runners will cover 10,166 km in solidarity for those who are in need around the world. Until today, some 40,000 euros has been gathered from our cooperation with the Marathon for our goals and our programs with volunteers around the world.”
ELEPAP (Rehabilitation for the disabled)
“In 2011 we took part in the marathon with 126 runners, in 2012 and 2013 our entries quadrupled in collaboration with the WIND Running Team. This year, we are participating with 400 runners and 200 volunteers and for the first time we will take part in the 1,000m race for children with students of Moraitis school.”
“For the second year we have the opportunity to try to influence as many people as we can through the Marathon. Our runners this year are running for Zoi – the little bear that was found a few months ago – to cover the cost of her care and to release her in the wild again.”
EEPAA (Greek society for autistic individuals)
“SEGAS widely opened its doors to people facing autism without prejudice. We are participating in the marathon for the fourth year, with 240 runners.”
Make a Wish
“Since 1996, Make a Wish in Greece has fulfilled over 1,280 magical wishes of children suffering from serious diseases. In the Athens Marathon, our team will have 275 entries. SEGAS gives us the opportunity to make our work known, which is really unique.“
Floga (Pan Hellenic parents association of children with cancer)
“We are running for the first time with 230 entries, although the demand exceeded 600. We are running to declare our support to children with cancer. We are running to tell children with cancer that they can recover. This is our motto.”
Desmos (Coordinator of donation process between donors and recipients who are in need)
“The Marathon, the Authentic Marathon, is proof of how closely connected sports is to volunteering. This year we are taking part with 256 runners in all races.”
“For the 5th year the Marathon gives our children, our special athletes, the opportunity to show their skills to their friends and relatives. This is valuable to the project and the work we do in the Special Olympics.”
The Smile of the Child
“Many years ago in 1995, a child named Andreas expressed his last wish at age 10 and that was something for which we are very proud, and we created the Smile of the Child. I would like to request for the children’s marathon to be named ‘Andreas Giannopoulos’... Our children ran for the first time last year and that helped us understand the greatness of what you are doing. Besides, we must support the children, not out of charity, pity or compassion, but out of obligation.”
The 32nd Marathon Race will be held on 9 November, at 9am sharp, from the Marathon Start Venue in the town of Marathon. Runners finish the race when they enter the Panathinaikon Stadium in Athens, where the Finish Arch is found. Some 2,500 volunteers will be on call to help runners of the Athens Marathon.
According to SEGAS, between the 5K and 10K road races, power walking event, kids race, Special Olympics race and Marathon Race, some 35,000 runners will be in the streets of Athens.
GTP is the main tourism communication sponsor for the Athens Marathon. Τhe Authentic.