In 2012, for the second year running, a development bonus worth N$40 000 in total was awarded to the winners of the Rössing Namibia Marathon Championships, Paulus Iyambo and Helaria Johannes. This sponsorship, made in addition to the N$10 000 cash each in prize money that the two elite athletes won at Rössing's popular marathon event in February, is part of our proud believe in sustainability.
For a period of 12 months, Rössing continues to monitor and support the careers and achievements of these two athletes by continuing to render material support through the development bonus worth N$20 000 to each of them, to be spent on furthering their careers.
As such, it is an association that helps to build our reputation and tell our sustainable development story, because we believe that the continued, material support for Paulus and Helaria will aid in promoting their athletic careers beyond the boundaries of Namibia and onto the world stage such as the Olympic Games in London in 2012 which is less than two months away.
This sponsorship is also part of Rio Tinto Rössing's long-term commitment to Namibia. We want to play our part in giving Namibia's championship winning athletes the best possible chance to succeed at the Olympic Games this year. It then also becomes a celebration of the athletes' outstanding achievements beyond the Rössing Marathon earlier in the year. Paulus was a first time Rössing Marathon winner in 2012 and is a shining, young up-and-coming talent for the future and Helaria is the current Namibian Sportswoman of the Year and one of the first Namibian athletes to qualify for the Olympics. She is also the national marathon record holder. We believe that our association with Namibian champions will also inspire and encourage young Namibians to get more involved in sport and be our Olympians of tomorrow.
Rio Tinto is the official metal provider for the 4,700 medals for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. In celebration of this partnership, Rössing employee and front line manager for the haul truck mechanical section, Ruben Makgone, won a once in a lifetime trip to the Olympics as part of Rio Tinto's employee recognition programme that was launched as part of this sponsorship. The initiative came out of a need to acknowledge and reward employees across our sites that are embodying our values of Integrity, Respect, Teamwork and Accountability.
These are the same qualities we recognize in our two Marathon winners for 2012 and we will continue to aim to bring long-lasting positive change to the communities where we work, respecting human rights, bringing economic benefits and looking after the environment through the way we work.
Rössing will stage the 22nd consecutive Namibia Marathon Championship in 2013 and this event will again be hosted in Swakopmund on Saturday, 16 February 2013. We received record numbers of Marathon runners from all over Namibia and abroad in 2012 and we are convinced to see increased participation again next year. We are sure that Paulus and Helaria will be back to defend their titles and hopefully we will then be able to boast with an Olympic Champion, in Helaria, at the Rössing Marathon of 2013.
The Rössing Namibia Marathon Championship remains one of the important events through which aspirant runners can attempt qualify for the South African long distance running events later in the same year. As usual, there will again be very attractive cash prizes associated with next year's marathon and we will announce the start of the entries in the media early next year.
Paulus and Helaria, all eyes on you, our best wishes for the remainder of the athletics season and we are looking forward to have you defend your titles at next year's Rössing Namibia Marathon Championship again.
Speech delivered by:
Manager: External Affairs