Hunza, July 9, 2016: Serena Hotels in collaboration with Aga Khan Social Welfare Board for Pakistan (AKSWBP), Pakistan Youth Outreach (PYO) and Z Adventures held the first Serena Hotels-Hunza Marathon 2016 under the banner of Sports Diplomacy initiative in Karimabad Hunza.
Serena Hotels Sports Diplomacy initiative had a week long campaign in Hunza against substance abuse and it was the first high altitude marathon to be held in the area having many International Athletes from Germany, Spain and Japan. The International Athletes and local professionals participated in the 42 Km full Marathon. A 10 km and 5 km half-marathon for amateurs was also organised to encourage young people to engage in healthy exercise and raise awareness about the negative impact of substance abuse. Approximately 340 boys and girls participated in the Marathon.
The AKSWBP circulated the information about the event throughout the area and provided volunteers to facilitate the event. AKSWBP is a non- profit, voluntary organization that facilitates social welfare initiatives for poor and vulnerable people.
Serena Hotels shares the same vision as PYO and Z Adventures in attempts to raise awareness amongst the youth and to ‘Say No to Drugs”
The Marathon was followed by a prize distribution ceremony and cultural show at the Hunza Serena Inn The Chief Guest Governor Gilgit Baltistan Mir Ghazanfar Ali Khan awarded the medals to the winners of all the categories. The full marathon 1st position male was Semjon Parker and female Nadine Gill from Germany. The 10km marathon 1st position male was Rizwan Karim and female Kishwar Karim. The winner of the 5km marathon male was Sajid Hussain and female Ms Nimla.
Mr Klaus Westphal world record holder for Marathons from Germany mentioned at the ceremony that he enjoyed the marathon and Pakistan being the 118th country to participate as a runner was an experience beyond imagination.
Organizations like Serena Hotels, are strategically placed and have the capacity to support and promote caused such as the ‘Say NO to Drugs ‘and the use of sports to encourage healthy lifestyle extends the hosting, sponsoring or facilitating divers tournaments and matches which transcend cultural differences and brings people together. There is a universal passion for sports across different ages and types of people which paves the way to transcend linguistic and socio-cultural differences and bring people together. Participation in sports and athletic activities teaches leadership, teamwork and communication skills that help young people succeed in all areas of their lives.