Salambo discovering Ethiopia
Running is the national sport in Ethiopia as can testify the many gold medals Ethiopian runners won at the Olympic games or World championships. Running is one of the few sports which can be practiced without specific equipment or expensive gear, so understandably, it is very popular in a country which has limited resources to invest into sport infrastructure.
Today, the 2013 Choice Women First run took place in Addis, which as expected attracted huge crowds. The run is organised by the Great Ethiopian Run organisation which started a few years ago with the annual 10 kms run usually held in November. For the first time ever, I participated in the race and was surprised by the jovial and friendly atmosphere. Many women joined just for the fun of it, they did not take the run too seriously, they were not wearing high-tech sport shoes (some of them even ran in a skirt and sandals), they just came to express their solidarity to women’s cause. Especially that the message promoted this year would have resonated with a great number of women around the World. They were:
“Family Planning with Choice” – Dkt Ethiopia
“Narrow the Gap Meet the Goals: Empower Women to Make a Difference” – United Nations Ethiopia
“Because I am a Girl” – the NGO Plan International Ethiopia
The famous Ethiopian champion Haile Gebre Selassie was there too to give his support to women, which he celebrated in his opening address to the cheers of the huge feminine crowd listening to him. Other sponsors such as Irish Aid and other Non-Governmental Organisations supported the run. All in all, it was a friendly solidarity event two days after the celebration of International Women Day.