ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, YENAGOA
Promoters and stakeholders have planned a special marathon race tagged, ‘Oloibiri-Run Yenagoa half marathon’ to bring local and international runners to Bayelsa State in order to commemorate Oloibiri, Nigeria’s first oil well.
Though the exact date for the international event has not been confirmed, the promoters hinted that it will be held within the year (2021).
The Project Coordinator, Mr. Eyinimi Omorozi, said the marathon event, which would be the first of its kind to ever hold in this part of the country, will attract local and international runners to participate in any one of the three-race categories: 5km, 10km and 21km (main race).
The facilitator, who doubles as the Managing Director of Mahogany 21st Century Concepts, said the marathon race was being organised in collaboration with relevant institutional partners and stakeholders.
According to Omorozi, the key facilitators and stakeholders expected to power the classic event include the Bayelsa State Government, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Petroleum Development Trust Fund and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, among others.
He said the Oloibiri half marathon is aimed at promoting sports, talents development and other socio-economic benefits.
The promoter said, “The marathon race will serve as a strategic platform to give national and international recognition and visibility to Oloibiri in the attempt to promote and preserve for posterity the Oloibiri national historical heritage that has far too long been abandoned, neglected and seemingly forgotten.
“Designed as an annual international half marathon event brand, it will attract the participation of amateur and professional athletes and visitors from within and outside Nigeria.
“The ‘Oloibiri-Run Yenagoa Half Marathon’ is intended to provide a platform for critical stakeholders – state and federal government agencies, local and international oil and gas companies, athletics associations, the media, citizens, etc., to freely interact at the various activities of the event to achieve their corporate citizenship and marketing communications responsibilities and objectives.