Rivers to host international marathon

Governor Siminalayi Fubara has affirmed that the upcoming Rivers State International Marathon would captivate the global spotlight and shine a positive light on the state.

Speaking on the preparation for the May 18, 2024, marathon, yesterday, in Port Harcourt, Fubara, represented by the state’s Commissioner for Youth and Sports, elaborated on the multifaceted benefits of the international marathon. He underscored its pivotal role in combating social vices, particularly among the youth, citing the allure of cash prizes as a compelling incentive for young participants.

The commissioner emphasised the ripple effect of talent discovery that the event promises, foreseeing a surge in local talent development as a direct result of participation.

Expanding on the economic front, the governor highlighted the myriad opportunities that will emerge for local businesses during the marathon’s preparation phase and on the event day itself.

Anticipating brisk commercial activity, the governor envisaged a boost to the state’s economy, with local enterprises poised to thrive amidst the influx of participants and spectators.

“Crucially, the marathon serves as a powerful platform to showcase the state’s exemplary security credentials. As international athletes descend upon Nigeria from various corners of the globe, they will bear witness to Rivers State’s status as a secure haven, thereby dispelling any lingering doubts and bolstering investor confidence in the region’s safety.

“Moreover, beyond its economic and security implications, the marathon provides an invaluable opportunity to celebrate and showcase the rich cultural heritage of Rivers State. By spotlighting indigenous traditions and customs, the event promises to invigorate the tourism sector, enticing visitors to explore the state’s vibrant tapestry of cultures,” Fubara said.

Echoing the governor’s sentiments, project consultant, Femi Abegunde of Arch Raphael Limited, lauded the marathon as a trailblazing endeavor that sets a benchmark for future athletic endeavours in Nigeria and beyond.

He underscored the inclusivity of the event, with special provisions made to accommodate and challenge indigenous athletes to surpass existing records set by their Nigerian counterparts in marathons nationwide.

Revealing the organisers’ plan for local athletes, Abegunde said the introduction of the Nigerian elite prize tag underscored the commitment to fostering local talent and elevating the country’s standing in the global marathon community.

He said: “As Governor Fubara reaffirmed, the Rivers State International Marathon is not merely a race; it is a catalyst for positive change, uniting communities, promoting athleticism, and propelling Rivers State onto the world stage with pride and distinction.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button