Edo state deputy governor, Philipps Shaibu has hailed Mike Itemuagbor, the CEO of Pamodzi Sports Marketing, organiser of the historic and world famous Okpekpe international 10km road race for helping in the state government’s drive to make Edo state a destination for sports.
“I want to thank my brother Mike Itemuagbor who has brought the Okpekpe 10km road race, an event in a small village in Etsako East Local Government in Edo state to the map of the world,” said Shaibu on the sidelines of the 5-day technical officiating training course which began Monday at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium in Benin.
The course, facilitated by the Okpekpe race organiser will see participants certified as technical officiating officials at the end of their training.
Shaibu also used the ocassion to reiterate the state government’s support for the race.
“We as a government are pleased with the giant strides the race has made. The project is in line with one of our cardinal pillars in the Edo MEGA (Make Edo Great Again) agenda because we believe it will create a lot of avenues for the youths in Edo state to explore and demonstrate their God-given talents.”
Shaibu says some of the trained officials will be used at the World Athletics elite label Okpekpe race scheduled for the last Saturday in May.
”For us in Edo state, we cannot be a destination for sports in Nigeria when none of us is officiating in the Okpekpe race, it’s an abberation. When we say we want to be a destination for sports, we mean everything about sports including playing, officiating, facilities and all that make up sports, we want to be the destination and place ourselves as resource persons in the development of sports in Nigeria.
The Okpekpe international 10km road race is the first road running event to be granted a label status in Nigeria and one of the leading road races in the world.