Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki wants increased participation of runners from Edo and other adjoining states in the IAAF Bronze Label Okpekpe International 10km Road Race.
“The Okpekpe Race has come to stay and we are happy to be associated with it. It is an event that has put Edo State on the map of the world as a destination for world class sporting event and we are grateful for this.
“I will however like to have more local participation in the event. I want runners from all over Edo State and other nearby states (Delta, Ondo, Ogun and Anambra) to be part of what has become an annual celebration of athletics excellence,” the governor, who has signed on as the first celebrity runner at the race, said.
Obaseki is confident the race, already in its fifth edition, will continue to grow bigger. “If a race has gone on for five years, I think we should commend the organisers and praise their commitment towards its success.”
Meanwhile, spokesman for the race, Dare Esan says organisers of the race are delighted with the massive support they are getting from Governor Obaseki.
“The governor has been a strong part of the race right from its inception and we are grateful for his continued support,” said Esan, who revealed that the race has been witnessing increased participation from runners across the nooks and crannies of Edo State and its environs.
“It is because of this that we instituted prizes for Edo State runners. This was designed to get more athletes from the state to participate in their own event.
“Last year, we had the chairman and chief executive officer of Channels Television, John Momoh institute monetary awards for indigenes of North Ibie comprising Okpekpe clan and the three Ibie Clans of Imiegba, Imiakebu and Itsukwi of Etasko East Local Government Area of Edo State.