The Botswana National Olympic Committee has launched a running challenge, which is taking place over six weeks ©Getty Images

Botswana's Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development has encouraged citizens to take part in the Botswana National Olympic Committee's (BNOC) running initiative to celebrate Olympic Day.

Tumiso Rakgare was speaking as the Olympic Day Challenge was launched on Monday (May 10).

The BNOC initiative will continue until Olympic Day on June 23.

It encourages members of the public to run between now and then, with culminative targets set to aim for, ranging from 100 kilometres to 400km.

The challenge has been chosen and it encourages people to be active, but allows for them to remain socially distant while exercising.

"I, therefore, urge Botswana to join us all in a sporting fraternity as we make concerted efforts towards moving our bodies and reinstating sport in the safest way possible," Rakgare said, as reported by Botswana Daily News.

Rakgare added that being physically active can improve mental health and help to manage chronic illnesses.

The Sports Minister also urged the sporting community to explore alternative ways of resuming activities in a bid to limit the spread of COVID-19.

A 10km walk was held to mark the launch of the Olympic Day Challenge, while there was also a ceremony.

The French Ambassador to Botswana, Laurence Beau, commended the BNOC for the challenge and its bid to bring physical activity to the public.

To take part in the challenge, all participants must download the Strava running app.