AROUND SLOVAKIA

Košice Marathon includes anti-poverty campaigners

The annual Košice Peace Marathon, the oldest such event in Europe, which this year was held for the 87th time had a special team in 2010. As it was the European Year of the Fight against Poverty and Social Exclusion (ER2010), the main aim of which is to fight against indifference and public ignorance of problems connected with these issues, runners were offered the chance to make a contribution through their athletic performance. They could wear the colours of the ER 2010 team, with a jersey made by disabled people in a sheltered workshop, and compete in a symbolic mini-marathon of 4.2 kilometres. The first 30 applicants were not charged a starting fee.

 President of the the Košice Marathone Club Štefan Daňo, chair of the Slovak Athletic
Association Mária Mračnová, Academic Sculptor Arpád Račko, author of the statue of
Marathone-runner that is 50 years old, and Košice Mayor Frantiček Knapík ignite the
Marathone flame. President of the the Košice Marathone Club Štefan Daňo, chair of the Slovak Athletic Association Mária Mračnová, Academic Sculptor Arpád Račko, author of the statue of Marathone-runner that is 50 years old, and Košice Mayor Frantiček Knapík ignite the Marathone flame. (Source: SITA)

The annual Košice Peace Marathon, the oldest such event in Europe, which this year was held for the 87th time had a special team in 2010. As it was the European Year of the Fight against Poverty and Social Exclusion (ER2010), the main aim of which is to fight against indifference and public ignorance of problems connected with these issues, runners were offered the chance to make a contribution through their athletic performance. They could wear the colours of the ER 2010 team, with a jersey made by disabled people in a sheltered workshop, and compete in a symbolic mini-marathon of 4.2 kilometres. The first 30 applicants were not charged a starting fee.

The ER 2010 team consisted of athletes for whom poverty and life on the margins of society are a daily reality, and also those who work for local charities and social institutions, like the Nota Bene team (associated with the Slovak magazine sold by the homeless), the Arch-Diocesan Charity of Košice, etc. The aim of the event was to connect those affected by social exclusion, and thereby boost their self-esteem and self-awareness, with those who want to help, and also to publicise ER 2010’s goals.

On Sunday, October 3, the day of the marathon, an ER 2010 relay team consisting of Deputy Labour Minister Lucia Nicholsonová, Košice Nota Bene co-ordinator Helena Hvarilová, musician, Roma activist and ER 2010 Ambassador Vladimír Sendrei and Social Development Fund project manager René Mráz also took part in the main marathon.

More information can be found on the www.protichudobe.sk and www.2010againstpoverty.eu
websites.

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