The organisers of the 4th Okpekpe 10 kilometre Road Race, Pamodzi Sports Marketing (PSM), have created a new prize category for indigenous athletes from North Ibie in Edo State.
The North Ibie comprises of Okpekpe Clan and the three Ibie Clans of Imiegba, Imiakebu and Itsukwi of Etasko East Local Government Area of Edo State.
According to sources close to Pamodzi, the top three athletes from the region (in both male and female categories) are going to smile away from this year’s edition with N150, 000, N100,000 and N50,000 respectively.
These novelty, according to the Pamodzi source, is meant to pave the way for these communities that are of the same historical background besides their common Ibie language, to also benefit from the empowerment that the race has become for the area.
“We are coming up with these new prizes for our people to also benefit from the road race,” said the source.
PSM is also planning to introduce a camp in Okpekpe where the national athletes will have the opportunity for training.
This, according to the source, is also aimed at spurring Okpekpe youths that are also interested in road race to also train.
In this year’s race, the competition will begin with the take off of the international athletes, the the national athletes while the North Ibie category follows.
Besides the fact that the organiser have always beefed up security, PSM will this year tag participants in the last category in order to checkmate malpractices.
“Normally, once the race takes off no vehicle or motor cycle is allowed to move again. We will have to accredit them at the start point with a different label before they take off. ”
Super Sports’ annual Let’s Play programme which usually hold on the eve of the road race will this year take place at the Otsele Primary School, Okpekpe .
Organisers of the tournament last year held it in Ebidi Primary School, Fugar, Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State.