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2nd Onitsha City Marathon: Organisers Unveil Partners

2nd Onitsha City Marathon: Organisers Unveil Partners

Organisers of the second edition of the Onitsha City Marathon, OCM, Friday unveiled three partners ahead of September 30, 2023, 21km Marathon race in the Anambra State’s foremost commercial city, South East of Nigeria, reports.

The partners are Afia TV as broadcast Rights owners, Y&T Sports as a Technical partner and GLS Project as Marketing Partner. understands that Afia TV is owned by former NBC Director General, Emeka Mba while GLS Projects is owned by renowned FIFA Players licenced Agent John Shittu who also managed former Super Eagles captain, John Obi Mikel; Liberian President, George Opong Weah as a footballer and another former Super Eagles captain, Joseph Yobo.

At an elaborate World Press Conference on Friday, Professor Segun Segbosan, a Director at Onitsha Business School – the organisers of the Onitsha City Marathon (OCM), disclosed that the Marathon race is organised as a prelude to the Ofala Festival of the Igwe of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, Agbogidi of Onitsha.

He disclosed that, unlike the 2019 edition, this year’s edition has enjoyed the full endorsement and backing of the Anambra State government headed by the Governor, Prof Chukwuma Charles Soludo.

Professor Sogbesan hinted further that the race is aimed at putting Onitsha in front of the sporting world, stressing that his outfit is stopping at nothing in delivering a flawless and successful Marathon race.

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“Besides, we have decided to encourage Anambra indigenes in the race. To this end, 10 Anambra or Onitsha citizens to finish the race will be rewarded,” Professor Sogbesan said during the World Press Conference at the corporate office of Onitsha Business School.

Deputy Project Manager of OCM, Philip Balepo, revealed that organisers will on Saturday, July 22, begin a sensitisation exercise within Onitsha, starting from the Chuba Ikpeazu Stadium, Onitsha.

The Veteran journalist equally hinted that 50 viewing centres will be provided within the state during the race.

“This is to ensure that all citizens of the state get an opportunity to watch the race even without being present at the starting point, end point or even within the routes of the race,” Balepo explained.

Chief Obiora Etukokwu, Ubon of Onitsha who represented the Obi of Onitsha commended the Onitsha Business School for their initiative in organising the race.

He hinted that Igwe Alfred Achebe and his Cabinet are proud of the organisers of the Onitsha City Marathon.

He added that the Palace and citizens of Onitsha look forward with pride and expectation for the race which he described as ‘our own’.

Marketing Partners, GLS, Projects, represented by Seun Olayiwola, assured that funds won’t be a hindrance towards the success of the race.

Patrick Estate Onyedum, Chairman of Anambra State Sports Commission, expressed happiness with the synergy between the organisers and his commission, as well as Anambra, State government.

Onyedum, a former athlete and ex-board member of AFN said he was confident of the success of the race.

Broadcast right holders, AfiaTV said they would use the race to change the narrative that tends to portray the commercial city of Onitsha in a negative perspective.

“We’ve shot an aerial view of Onitsha, starting from the Bridge Head, and people were surprised that it was indeed Onitsha. They felt it was Jabi, in Abuja.

“We want to change all that negative narrative about Onitsha and by extension, Anambra State”, Nnamdi Obanya, a representative of the television outfit said.

By Sab Osuji, Onitsha.

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