• Thursday, April 25, 2024
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2000 athletes to compete for over ₦330m in 2023 Onitsha City Marathon

2000 athletes to compete for over ₦330m in 2023 Onitsha City Marathon

Not fewer than 2000 athletes, including 1000 foreigners, are set to participate in the 2nd Onitsha City Marathon scheduled to be held on September 30, 2023 in Onitsha, the commercial hub of Anambra State.

Osondu Umeobi, project manager of the competition, disclosed this at a press conference in Onitsha on Wednesday.

Umeobi said that the participants would be vying for honour in a 21km-road-race in Onitsha metropolis with the slogan “Dare Your Limit”.

He said that about $400,000 would be spent as prize money for males and females categories, $200,000 each for the 1 to 10 best winners of the race on international level.

He added that there would be ₦10,000,000, (N5 million each for males and females categories) under the Nigeria categories, all valued at about ₦330,000,000.

Umeobi noted that top ten participants of Anambra State origin and members of the Sports Writers Association who are kitted free with branded t-shirts would also receive reasonable prizes.

He explained that the marathon race would also serve as part of programmes for celebration of the 2023 Ofala Festival of Igwe Alfred Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha.

In a message, the organisers and founder, Onitsha Business School (OBS), Segun Sogbasan, a professor, affirmed that many innovations had been added into the second edition, including introduction of 50 viewing centres across Anambra and Delta states for more viewership of the programme.

Sogbasan further said that “Onitsha City Marathon is an Initiative of the Onitsha Business School (OBS). It is a product of Doctoral and Masters Degree students simulation class aimed at providing a solution to an observed environmental challenge in an otherwise energetic community of vibrant youth populace idling away.

“OBS, the promoters of this project, intend to create three world class sporting facilities cut across Onitsha city to help promote, propagate and harness the idle sports talents in the city of Onitsha and beyond.

“Our mission is to be a platform for discovering, developing the avalanche sporting energies within the host environment and Africa at large, adopting effective coordinating methodology and contemporary technology.”

He said that the organisers would work with interested corporate bodies and individuals who are ready to partner with them with adequate funding to drive the event to a concluding success.

Read also: Access Bank-Lagos City Marathon in photos

“If each person in Anambra can donate N500 each, the event will actualise the objective. We are ready and preparing to achieve this noble goal for Anambra, Nigeria, Africa and the world,” Sogbasan said.

He recalled that the first edition held in 2019 was participated by athletes from the United Kingdom, Ethiopia, Kenya, Togo , China, Cameroon, to name a few, and implored for sponsorship from individuals and private institutions so as to make it a memorable event.

On his part, Patrick-Estate Onyedum, chairman, Anambra State Sports Commission, represented by Faith Okwonna, assured the state government support to the programme, as it would not only benefit the masses health wise but also boost the state economy, businesses and the environment at large.

Earlier, Obi Alfred Achebe, the traditional ruler of Onitsha, who was represented by Sir Chike Ekweogwu, president-general of Onitsha Improvement Union, thanked OBS for the initiative.

He assured that he would participate in the race as well as ensured that the event would record success as planned.