Kaduna Marathon: 20 international athletes to participate in the event ― el-Rufai

The COVID-19 protocols would be strictly adhered to during the maiden Kaduna International Marathon 2020 billed for November 21, 2020.

This was even as 20 international athletes comprising of 10 males and 10 females are expected to participate in the race that no fewer than 50, 000 athletes are expected in Kaduna during the event.

Addressing a world press conference on Saturday at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna, Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state said the 21km and half marathon race, with the theme: Let’s Run Together’, will gulp N300m.

He said the maiden edition which is expected to attract athletes across the world is aimed at talent hunting, engaging the youth and attracting investment opportunities to the state.

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.

Ten elite male and female athletes have been invited with over 50,000 local and international runners expected to participate.

“The inaugural edition of Kaduna International Marathon race will take place on Saturday 24 November 2020 as a half marathon. ‘Kaduna Runs’ is designed as an annual sporting event of economic benefit to all. We hope it would help Kaduna state as an investment hub and spotting talent.

“Kaduna runs is fully funded by sponsors and participants who registered to run. Kaduna runs is designed as a family and all-inclusive affairs, it is 13 miles so it is less strenuous than a 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 the office.

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

Chairman of the organising committee, Mr Jimi Lawal said though there are lots of costs to cover, “we have few companies committed to being title sponsor, 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.”

Consultant to the Kaduna International Marathon 2020, Mr Bukola Olopade said Kaduna state used to be known as a provider of sports talents but now “Kaduna state has grown from a provider of sports talents to providing the infrastructure to develop the talents. We want to bring everybody together to participate in the young, the old, the villagers, the city people, especially the 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 a 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 a solid foundation to make Kaduna greater in sports which is the rationale behind the Kaduna Marathon race.”

Meanwhile, Governor Nasir el-Rufai has been appointed as patron for Authentic Super Eagles Supporters Club based on his achievements in sports development.

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