No doubt, the power of sport is among the least exploited capital in peacemaking as well as nation building. Sport is not ideological but can unarm every extremist. Sport heroes as well as events have been uniting people from all walks of life. But lately, this capital has been eroding.
Now, the sport community including businesses, universities, and government institutions, are joining arms to lay the foundation for a great public sporting series dubbed Kerod Running, under the theme of Running for Peace. EBR’s Abiy Wendifraw looked past the making of Kerod Running, expected to be a more conceptual version of the Great Ethiopian Run.


In the shadow of Abebe Bikila’s colossal fame is Addis Gezahegn, the first Ethiopian and African woman to win a major marathon. She finished the 1991 Rotterdam Marathon in 2:35:04, a record at the time for an African woman. She also competed in Tokyo in 1990, the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992, and a in a total of 30 international tournaments.
She usually ran in men’s races, as separate races for women were almost nonexistent. Addis participated in the annual Abebe Bikila Marathon for men in Addis Ababa in 1989, her first ever 42 kilometers. Her spontaneous performance and non-fatigable physique could not pass unnoted by talent explorers of the national squad. At 155 centimeters high and weighing 45 kilograms, Addis still runs as a life experience, though she retired in 2011. EBR’s Abiy Wendifraw, chatted with the sport’s stuntwoman about her captivating story.


For the sport community, the Olympics are almost a ritual coming every four years but taking a lifetime of preparation. There were only few unfortunate years including during the world wars that forced the world’s greatest sporting festival to not be held. But this time, it is the invisible virus that forced the rescheduling of the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The cost was not only endured by Japan. Especially in track athletics, where Ethiopia beginning with Abebe Bikila had reigned supreme alongside its neighbor Kenya, Ethiopian athletes were dropping every sweat for the Tokyo tournament. EBR’s Abiy Wendifraw witnessed the emotional breakdown hard-trained athletes faced upon the postponed, and possibly cancelled, Olympics.


Sport managers of high-end teams usually uncover every stone to find outstanding performers from small fields around the global village. But now, private sport investors who cultivate and market talent are emerging. Private sport academies nurture budding talent and train them with qualities that grow their visibility in the eyes of elite teams. In Ethiopia, sport investment has been a state initiative for long and most football clubs have been dependent upon government funds until recently. The trend is shifting especially after DStv started airing Ethiopian football games, thus opening more opportunities for sport investors working on the grassroot level. Abiy Wendifraw, witnessed the commercialization taking shape in football.


In recent years, the number of people who go to gymnasiums and modern fitness facilities in Addis Ababa and other regional cities has been growing steadily. But this changed after the declaration of a state of emergency and a prohibition of sporting activities at all levels by the government in March 2020 in order to curb the spread of coronavirus. Although the prohibition was lifted and fitness centers opened their doors with all the COVID-19 prevention measures and protocols three months ago, most of the previous gym-goers didn’t return to the fitness venues. EBR’s adjunct writer Abiy Wendifraw explores.


Ethiopian football clubs have been financially dependent upon their hometown municipalities and government funding arms for long. However, this is to become history, after the clubs decided to bet higher. A fotball games televizing bid floated by the Ethiopian Premier League S.C, recently established by the 16 elite clubs, fetched a dream amount, enough to free local football from undue dependence and thus usher an unexpected comeback. EBR’s Abiy Wendifraw delved into recent moves undertaken to commercialize the football industry.


The Psychological Plight of the Pandemic on Ethiopian Athletes

The Coronavirus pandemic has become a guest that overstays its welcome. The world first thought that the virus would be an issue for three to five months but it has gone beyond its ninth month now without losing its grip on the world. The measures taken by governments and institutions have begun to loosen up despite the rapid spread of the virus around the world. However, major national and international events in athletics and other sports have been cancelled indefinitely. The isolation and cut off from regular life has its own impact on the psychological wellbeing of athletes. EBR’s Abiy Wendifraw looks into the matter.


Now that Coronavirus has pushed people around the world to dwell at home for months now, engagements that demand physical commotion have been highly restricted. Although there is relatively better movement in Ethiopia compared to countries in lock down, quite a sizable group of people have spent the past month at home. With some businesses such as gyms closed, those who have adhered to the stay at home recommendations need a makeshift venue for physical exercise. EBR’s Kiya Ali explores the various attempts by people to break sweat from the comfort of their living rooms.


COVID-19 has steadily expanded its empire around the world, claiming all national territories as its victims. Although some of these nations suspended their sporting activities at different times, they have almost entirely succumbed to the anti-social traits of the virus. It has been weeks since sports competitions were suspended in Ethiopia. EBR’s Abiy Wendifraw looks into the struggle to stay afloat in the country’s athletics and football federations.


Jnderrepresented in Sport Media

With the massive influx of new media houses, comes the need for sports journalists. However, female members of the profession have not grown in similar fashion due to several factors. From specific issues like not being able to enter changing rooms for interviews to stereotypes that a woman’s place is not in stadiums, women are facing challenges to enter and stay in the sports journalism field. The few current actors in the field have a duty to change this, as Abiy Wendifraw explores.

Ethiopian Business Review | EBR is a first-class and high-quality monthly business magazine offering enlightenment to readers and a platform for partners.

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