Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has urged Edo indigenes and other Nigerians to register and participate in the 6th edition of the Okpekpe International 10km Road Race hosted in the state.
The annual competition hosted in Okpekpe town, Etsako East Local Government Area, Edo State, is scheduled to take place on May 12, 2018. Previous editions of the competition featured local and international athletes.
In a statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, Obaseki said, â€œEdo indigenes and other Nigerians are urged to register and compete in the 10km Road Race because of the inherent benefit of building an army of home-grown long-distance runners to represent the country in similar competitions within the country and overseas.â€
â€œThe Okpekpe Road Race, which was recently elevated to a silver label event by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), presents a unique opportunity for Edo indigenes and Nigerians to build capacities in long-distance races,â€ he said.
Obaseki noted that much as the state is happy to play host to athletes from East African countries and other parts of the world, the competition also presents an opportunity for Edo indigenes to prove their mettle and strive to clinch the top prize.
â€œAs Nigerians, we are known to never give in easily in contests. So, this competition presents another opportunity for us to put up a challenge and compete to win the top prizes.â€
According to him, â€œEdo State is blessed with planes with conditions that can groom people for long-distance races. Highlands such as Somorika hills can groom athletes to favourably compete in this competition. It even presents a good practice ground for many others who would like to participate. Hence, we are calling out our people to put up a good show of sportsmanship at this yearâ€™s event.â€
Obaseki added, â€œThe Okpekpe road race is one of our emerging sports and tourism assets and we need to tap from this unique opportunity to build grassroots sports andÂ project ourselves as a welcoming and sports-loving people.â€