Enugu marathon: Gov Mbah promises to upgrade game to int’l standard…as Plateau contingents cleared medals


Enugu state Governor , Dr. Peter Mbah says his administration will invest hugely in the Sports sector,noting that sports is a key business that serves as leisure and tourism

He spoke on Saturday during the closing ceremony of Enugu half marathon organized by the Enugu state ministry of Youths and Sports Development in conjunction with Zenith Bank PLC.

Pix: Gov Mbah delivering his speech

He said his administration was. also working towards strengthening and improving subsequent marathons in the state by taking it to international standard, making it attractive enough for international athletes to participate as a world-class sporting event.

Pix: Gov Mbah in an interview

He said his administration was keen on sustaining and consolidating the huge success recorded in this year’s marathon through the right investment in the development of the sports industry in the areas of sporting infrastructure and facilities, adding that the state saw sports as business and source of wealth creation for the people.

Governor Mbah stated that the event would serve as an opportunity to discover young talents and for all sports lovers as well as the elderly to keep fit and live a healthy lifestyle.

Pix: Gov Mbah decorating winner of the male category, Francis James

“We are investing hugely in our sports sector, and we are not only treating sports as leisure or recreation, but we are also seeing the sports industry as key business. That’s why in addition to quickly returning the pitch, once we came in, to enable Rangers International return to the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, we just awarded the contract to renovate and overhaul our stadium and bring it to world-class standard.

“You also know that in that sector, we have just recently entered a memorandum of understanding to build a world-class entertainment and sports centre and this is all going to reinforce our position in the sports industry,” he said.

Pix: Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Ekweremadu Jnr. presenting a cheque to the winner of the female category, Patience Dalyop

Pix: Some of the Athletes

While congratulating the participants, who came from different states across the country, Governor Mbah said the goal of the event was to promote unity, discipline and cooperation amongst Nigerians. He added that in few years time, Enugu state would join the league of world athletics competitions because of the level of investments the administration was committing to the industry.

“What is even more important is the desire of the state to take the Enugu State Marathon event to the next level. In few years, I want you to note that the Enugu State Marathon is going to be part of the world international athletic events. Just as you have the Boston Marathon, the London Marathon, you’ll also have the Enugu Marathon in the international athletics calendar,” he said.

Pix: Ekweremadu Jnr. delivering his speech

Earlier, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Hon. Lloyd Ekweremadu, Jnr., explained that part of the goals of the marathon was to continue to foster the culture of sports and fitness, which engenders healthy development.

He expressed satisfaction over the success of the event, saying participants from other states were happy about the hospitality and the excellent works the Governor was doing in the state through his infrastructural drive.

Pix: Winner of male category,Francis James after arrival

He commended Zenith Bank PLC for partnering with the State Ministry of Youth and Sports Ekweremadu thanked the state Governor for supporting the event. He said this year’s event couldn’t have been possible without the support of the Governor, community patrons, and other businesses.

Highlights of the event were presentation of prizes to the winners of this year’s 21.79km Marathon which kicked off at the Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium and was concluded there too.

Pix: Patience Dalyop, winner of female category on arrival

Pix- Enugu state Governor, Dr Peter Mbah ‘ ,on arrival. He identified with the athletes ,amidst cheers from the crowd.

In the male category, Francis James,1st position,( Plateau state) received a sum of One million naira, Israel Sadjo,2nd position (Cross River state) recipe Five hundred thousand naira,and and Nenfort Mathias, 3rd position, ( Plateau state) received a sum of Three hundred thousand naira .

Pix: Gov Mbah , Ekweremadu Jnr. and others participated in the marathon.

In the female category, Patience Dalyop,1st position ( Plateau state ) Agofurb Charity ,2nd position( Delta state)and Munikat Emmanuel ,3rd position ( Plateau state)also clinched the same amount as their male counterparts :the winner, 1st , 2nd and 3rd runners up, respectively. Consolation prizes of N10,000 was given 20 athletes who took 4th to 23rd positions.

There was also a presentation by Comedians. The event attracted many sports lovers , including Paralympic stars.

Gov. Mbah( m) at the event

Pix: Some of the Athletes

Pix- Some of the officials

Author: Maureen Ikpeama

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