With less than forty days to the commencement of the 6thÂ Okpekpe International 10-kilometre Road Race, the Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has challenged the eventâ€™s organising committee to ensure that more tourism receipts accrue to the state.
Obaseki said the 10-kilometre road race has placed the state and the host communities on the global sporting map, attracting sports lovers and participants from various parts of the world to the state.
â€œThe growing popularity of Okpekpe Road Race is heartwarming and I urge the organising committee to strengthen the partnership with stakeholders such as hotel owners, transporters, producers of souvenirs and other key actors in the tourism sector so that we can record more gains from the event,â€ he said.
The governor assured that the state government will work with the relevant security agencies to ensure a hitch-free outing and stressed that sports is a major industry that deserves the attention of governments at all levels as well as the private sector.
â€œWith a well-structured sports sector, most of our youths will be engaged and the tourism sector will experience a major boost. We are committed to the development of the sector with our blueprint that will deliver 20 mini-stadia and a remodelled Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, in the near future, to serve as platforms for discovering and honing sporting talent,â€ the governor added.
Chairman of the organising Committee and Commissioner for Youths and Special Duties, Mr Mika Amonokha, assured that the 6thÂ edition of the race will build on the gains of the previous edition.
According to the Director of Organisation for the 6th Okpekpe International 10km road race, Zack Amodu, this yearâ€™s event will be bigger and better organised and in strict accordance with International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) rules.
The race has been elevated by the IAAF to a silver label status, the first in Nigeria andÂ West Africa.