THE late Vice-President of the Tanzania Athletics Federation, John Bayo who died on Tuesday, will be laid to rest in Arusha tomorrow.
His death shocked the sports fraternity including the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Sports and the management of the Kilimanjaro Marathon Company who sent condolence messages to the sports family and members of the deceased family.
The Minister for Culture, Arts and Sports Pindi Chana has expressed her sadness following the death.
The minister offered her condolences to the family, relatives, friends and all athletes for the loss.
The Kilimanjaro Marathon Company Limited, the firm Bayo served, also expressed deep sorrow following the sudden demise of the late AT Vice President.
A statement issued by the organisers of the Kilimanjaro Marathon described the Bayo as a great man and one of the pillars of the prestigious Kilimanjaro Marathon, the biggest marathon event in Tanzania.
Kilimanjaro Marathon Company Limited, through the statement, sent a message of condolence to the late Bayo’s family, relatives, friends and to all athletics stakeholders in and out of Tanzania.
“When a great man passes, there is little to say, we have lost one of the pillars of the Kilimanjaro Marathon and a good friend,” said the statement.
According to the statement, Bayo was one of the founders of the Kilimanjaro Marathon when the first edition was staged in 2003 with hardly 500 participants who did a fun run that later grew to a big event which now attracts over 12,000 runners from all over the world.
Bayo was a tireless worker and offered his expertise and experience to the event over the years until his death.
“He also gave of his time and skills to other athletic events in Tanzania and showed them how to do marathons professionalism,” said the organisers.
On nurturing athletes, the Kili Marathon organisers said Bayo played a major part in developing Tanzanian athletes over the years and was an ambassador for Tanzanian Athletics in Africa which encouraged runners to compete in various global level races.
“To us, he was a good brother, a gentleman, a mentor and a professional. We will miss him a lot,” said the statement.