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KADUNA to hold marathon in Nov

Governor Nasir El-Rufai has said that the maiden Kaduna International Marathon 2020 which is billed for November 21, is expected to gulp N300 million and…

Governor Nasir El-Rufai has said that the maiden Kaduna International Marathon 2020 which is billed for November 21, is expected to gulp N300 million and 10 elite athletes from across the world are expected to participate.

Addressing a world press conference on Saturday at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna, the governor said that the 21km half marathon race, with the theme, “Let’s Run Together”, is aimed at talent hunting, engaging the youth and attracting investment opportunities to the state.

Governor El-Rufai said there would be prize money ranging from $10,000 for the winner to $1,000 for the 10th position in the male and female elite category and N3 million for the first placed Nigerian male and female runners, ranging to N250,000 for the 10th placed runner in that category.

“Kaduna Runs is fully funded by sponsors and participants who registered to run. Kaduna runs is designed as a family and all inclusive affair, it is 13 miles so it is less strenuous than full marathon. Registered runners can drop off at any point, as participants can run 5km, 10km. I have already registered and I would not do more than 5km.

“We intend to raise the prize money and in 2021, we intend to put a line budget and double the prize money. It would be sustained until 2023 when we would leave office.

‘’Sports is a source of health and livelihood, a way of getting youths engaged and a business that can export footballers, athletes, basket ballers. We want to revive Kaduna clay court tennis tournament, make Kaduna annual governors tournament to be an international golf event,’’ he added.

Chairman of the organising committee, Mr Jimi Lawal said though there are lots of costs to cover, “we have few companies committed to be title sponsors; platinum, gold, silver and bronze sponsors.

‘’We are looking at between N250 and N300 million as cost of the Kaduna Marathon race. We are sure of attracting enough sponsors to cover the costs. If we can attract the sponsors, it shows that the competition is sustainable,’’ he clarified.

Consultant of the event, Mr Bukola Olopade said Kaduna state used to be known as provider of sports talents but it has degenerated ‘’ to providing the infrastructure to develop the talents. We want to bring everybody together to participate, the young, the old, the villagers, the city people, especially women”.

Kaduna state Commissioner for Sports Development, Prof. Kabiru Mato said Kaduna International Marathon is part of the foundation to bringing the state back to its past glory as provider of sporting talents.

“Kaduna shall revert back to its old former self of sports production and reproduction. No city has produced more national team stars. In the next few years, we would lay solid foundation to make Kaduna greater in sports which is the rationale behind the Kaduna Marathon race.”