Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode has revealed plans by his administration to increase the prize money for the local and physically challenged athletes participating in the annual Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.
Ambode made the disclosure at a briefing to officially announce commencement of preparations for the 2019 marathon edition slated for February 2, in Lagos.
According to the Governor, there is urgent need to encourage more local athletes as well as the physically-challenged so as to increase participation in the two categories.
“We think obviously that we should pay more attention to our physically-challenged athletes this time around and also to embrace more of local participation. This time around, we would push more money to the local races and we would push more money to also our physically-challenged athletes to encourage more people to come in, while the main prize remain the same,” Ambode said.
The Governor also said plans have been put in place to accommodate no fewer than 150,000 athletes in the 2019 edition of the marathon, adding that the target of the State Government was to use the forthcoming edition to take the tournament from the bronze label of International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) to silver status.
Earlier, the Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission, Dr. Kweku Tandor said the Lagos City Marathon, was the third of its kind after Brighton and Bournemouth Marathon in the United Kingdom to earn the prestigious IAAF Bronze Label only after its second edition, which held on February 10, 2018.