By Aymen Amzein.
Benghazi, 7 April 2016:
Some 500 people took part in yesterday’s “Marathon” race in Benghazi yesterday according to the organisers. . . .[restrict]The event, organised by Benghazi municipal council and the Red Crescent to mark the UN’s International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, saw members of local sports clubs, plus ordinary residents, both male and female, as well as elderly contestants and children join in the race.
Members of Benghazi’s motor bike and cycle clubs also turnout out to cheer contestants on their way. There was even a Libya Herald reporter among the runners.
The race, which eventually started at around 4.30 pm and designed to show that most of the city was now living in peace and security, was in three parts with different starting points for athletes, for ordinary Benghazi men who were not members of sports associations, and for women, children, the disabled and the elderly. All ended up at the gates of the Saiqa Special Forces Camp in Buatni which less than a year ago was in the hands of Ansar Al-Sharia.
The event came as UN Special Envoy Martin Kobler called on young Libyan men and women to play a greater role in promoting the values of sport in their communities.
“Sports is a powerful tool to promote peace and development, and can contribute to empowerment of youth, women and person with disabilities and provide and environment of equality and respect for human rights,” he said in a statement to mark the day. “In Libya, football has a strong following, and it has proven to be a uniting factor for Libyans from diverse backgrounds and affiliations in the country and abroad.”
Sport could bring people from all backgrounds and political views together, he added. “I call on all parties in Libya, especially the Civil Society and Municipalities, the closest to the people’s aspirations, to promote the values of Sports as a powerful tool in the process of bottom-up approach to national reconciliation among the communities,” he declared. [/restrict]