A technical committee to see to the successful organisation of the sixth edition of the IAAF Silver Label Okpekpe International 10km Road Race has been constituted by the Edo State Athletics Association in Benin City.
The committee is headed by Paschal Emale and has 12 members including Otii Ignatius who will serve as secretary and Otupate Adebisi Richard who will serve as the assistant secretary.
Route and Participation Coordinator for the Okpekpe race, Brown Ebewele, believes the full involvement of the host state’s athletics association is in line with the race organisers’ plan to ensure athletics officials in Edo State are not only given a sense of belonging but to also recognise their importance as far as organising a successful race is concerned.
â€œI am a stickler for due process and I believe that in any event, the local association must be allowed to play its role. Give it to the organisers of the Okpekpe race who have always involved officials from the Edo Athletics Association. Now we want to take it a step further because many of the people serving in the technical committee are former athletes and athletics coaches who understand the rules of the sport,â€ said Ebewele, a member of the board of Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).
â€œWith the sixth edition of the Okpekpe race holding this May, it is clear the race has come to stay and there is the need to develop more local capacity for the organisation of the race. There is also the need to strengthen community capacity to participate in both the technical and administrative organisation of the race,â€ Ebewele added.
He is convinced the elevation of the Okpekpe race status to a first ever silver label race in West Africa will require the involvement of more technically savvy officials.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Technical Committee, Emale has said that the role of the members among other things is to give technical advice to the Main Organising Committee (MOC) for the race.
The Okpekpe International 10km Road Race will be the first IAAF Silver Label 10km race of the year. It will hold a day before the IAAF Gold Label Tata Consultancy Services World 10K in Bangalore, India.
The race is the only road race recognised by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) in Nigeria and the sixth edition will hold on May 12, 2018 in Okpekpe near Auchi.
It is organised by Pamodzi Sports Marketing, leaders in sports marketing and hospitality business in Nigeria.