Why We Initiated Onitsha City Marathon — Organisers

By Augustine Kalu on August 26, 2019

Views: 173

The organisers of Onitsha City Marathon whose maiden edition will hold on October 25, 2019 have given reasons they deemed it necessary to initiate a marathon for the historic city of Onitsha, the commercial capital of the Southeast geo-political zone of the country.

The Onitsha City Marathon, according to the organisers is the initiative of Onitsha Business School (OBS). They disclosed that it is a product of an MBA simulation aimed at providing a solution to an observed environmental challenge in an otherwise energetic community of vibrant youth population idling away.

OBS, according to the marathon promoters, intends to create three world-class sporting facilities cut across Onitsha City to help promote, propagate and harness the idle sports talents in the city and beyond.

The organisers disclosed that the Onitsha City Marathon is going to be an annual event which has been specifically designed to showcase the tourism potential of the birth place of the Great Zik of Africa, the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first president of Nigeria and the Owelle of Onitsha.

They equally explained that they want to use the Onitsha City Marathon to place Onitsha on global map of a centre of sporting excellence just as they want to change the perception of the commercial nerve centre of Southeast as a city known only for buying and selling to a sporting city.

According to the Chief Promoter of Onitsha City Marathon, Professor Olusegun Dapo Sogbesan, the organisers want to use the event as a catalyst to revolutionise sports as a tool for socio-economic development in Onitsha metropolis ad beyond.

His words: “The organisers and promoters of Onitsha City Marathon, the Onitsha Business School (OBS) want to use this marathon to put Onitsha on global map of sports centre of sports excellence.

“The idea of Onitsha City Marathon came about the need to harness the raw talents and energy of idle youth in Onitsha and its environs for productive purposes.

“There is no gain saying that Onitsha is known for its prowess in business but then, there are many other things people don’t know about this ancient city called Onitsha.

“Onitsha is one place where you see young and old people doing exercises in the morning. I want to tell you that more than three thousand people jog or run every day in Onitsha mainly for the health benefit of doing so, that is to keep fit.

“So, if such number of people could be jogging every day in order to keep fit, why not channel this huge youthful energy to more profitable venture apart from the health benefit associated with jogging. That is how the initiative came about.”

Meanwhile, the Project Manager of Onitsha City Marathon, Mr. Osondu Umeobi, said the event is a half marathon of 21 kilometres, saying that they expect a successful event on October 25.

According to Mr. Umeobi, the starting point of the marathon race is Shoprite Mall while the finishing point will be at Chuba Ikpeazu Stadium.

The Project Manager explained a lot of financial rewards await participants as elite athletes from different countries will cart home with different cash prizes ranging from $1,000 to $20,000 while local athletes will smile home with cash prizes ranging from N20,000 to N1 million. He further explained that every participant who is able to cover up to five kilometres will be issued with certificate of participation. 

It is expected that the executive Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Maduaburochukwu Obiano, will flag off the road race. Umeobi assured of adequate security for all participants saying all the security agencies including the Army, Navy, Police, Road Safety, Civil Defense, among others, have all keyed in to the road race.

 

Source Daily Sports

Posted August 26, 2019


 

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