Marathon des sables
SOLIDARITY AT THE HEART OF THE 36th MARATHON DES SABLESMARATHON DES SABLES Solidarity Center
Sharing, mutual assistance and solidarity have enabled the MARATHON DES SABLES to develop social support actions for children and mothers living in Ouarzazate. Inauguration this Sunday of the brand new sports facilities.
At the MARATHON DES SABLES, solidarity is not an empty word: this Sunday morning, to conclude the 36th edition of the mythical race, officials (among which the Governor of the Province of Ouarzazate), journalists, partners, volunteers, and a handful of competitors gathered at the outskirts of the city. The 60 or so people were able to visit the superb traditionally-built centre of the 'Solidarité MARATHON DES SABLES' charity. It is intended to welcome women and children for literacy programmes (FEMMISSIMA), introduction to computers, and sports (SPORT ÉVEIL ACADÉMIE).
Each year, 35,000 euros must be found to finance the centre, 60% of which goes to pay the 7 employees (maintenance, and supervision of the women's and children's activities). This morning was a real achievement with the inauguration of the tartan athletics track and the football pitch, two new assets that allow 240 children from disadvantaged families to develop their sporting skills and—why not—start a successful career.
In the streets of Ouarzazate, competitors have become tourists. They stroll through the streets, at a slow—or very slow— pace. The gait is sometimes awkward, but all competitors look alike: they display a huge smile, because they know that they have accomplished something grand: "We are all very happy and proud of what we have done," confided Julien DAUCOURT (D1007-CHE) at breakfast in front of a coffee in his hotel. "It was really great, a wonderful experience, I'll be back. Actually, first I'll have to talk to my wife...".
The MDS? A one-of-a-kind life experience—try it, you'll love it. The 801 competitors who crossed the finish line of the 36th MARATHON DES SABLES made no mistake about that. I bet you that many of them will be on the start line of the 37th edition, on 21 April 2023!