Edo State Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Mobilisation, Honourable Presely Ediagbonya has said the state decentralised this year’s Olympic Day Run in order to encourage more people to participate in the annual event.
Ediagbonya noted that the government arrived at the decision having considered the burning desire of people of the state to participate in the event as well as the distance and cost of travelling from other towns and cities outside Benin City.
He added that centres were created in Ekpoma (Edo Central), Auchi (Edo North) and at Okada Town whereby the Vice Chancellor of the Igbinedion University coordinated the event from the school gate to expressway and terminated at Usen.
Ediagbonya acknowledged that the Olympic Day Run is an annual global celebration of the birth of Olympic movement that encouraged everyone around the world to play active part in sports and experience Olympic values in their countries.
“It is also an instrument to cement national unity and grassroots sports development, and that National Olympic Committees across the five continents share the Olympic spirit with the people of all ages and all walks of life.”
Meanwhile, Brigade Commander of the Nigerian Army, 4th Brigade Division, Brigadier General Benbella Ahmed Raji has reiterated his commitment to ensure that the division excels in sports in line with the vision of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) on sports development among soldiers.
He stated this during an interactive session with sports writers after the 2016 Olympic Day Run held at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium, Benin City where he led his men from the division to feature in the yearly event.
He commended the organisers of the event over what he described as excellent organisation through the awareness across the state which led to large turn out of participants at the event.
Raji stated that the Olympic Day Run was a platform to keep fit adding that physical activities is one of the hallmarks of military professionalism, because without fit soldiers they will not be able to perform the task expected of them.
“There are lots of activities lined up by the Chief of Army Staff to engage soldiers in sporting activities, and they have been taking part in so many events in inter-sports competition within the brigade and within the division throughout the year.
“I have seen the schedule of sporting activities in the command and there are lots of them such as inter-brigade volleyball competition and many others which are lined up already for the soldiers to keep fit. It will hold very soon,” he said.