All is set for the maiden edition of the much-anticipated race, the Abuja International Marathon (AIM) scheduled to hold on December 17, 2022.
At a press conference on Thursday in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT Abuja, Abuja International Marathon (AIM) Managing Director, Zsuzsanna Ogunmiloyo, revealed that the first edition of the much-anticipated race will be taking place on December 17, 2022.
Ogunmiloyo who is also CEO, of Unicentral Resources said she is delighted the Abuja International Marathon is finally moving away from being an idea into reality.
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“The journey to the first international marathon in our great city, Abuja, begins today. I am appealing to all residents of FCT and Nigerians, in general, to join hands with Unicentral to ensure we have a world-class race that will sell FCT and Nigeria to the world as a tourist destination, a place to invest and do business.
“With the cooperation of every one of us, especially the sporting press the number one stakeholder in this project we can build a race that will rival the best in the world like New York and London in record time” the MD, Abuja International Marathon added
Ogunmiloyo thanked the Honourable Minister of FCT, Honourable Minister of State, members of the National Assembly, the Permanent Secretary of FCT, the Mandate Secretary, Director of Sports, FCT administration, the National Assembly and every stakeholder that has ensured the Abuja International Marathon finally gets a life of it own.
On his part, Senator Ayo Akinyelure representing Ondo Central Senatorial District reiterated the Abuja International Marathon (AIM) as a fully-backed government project that already enjoys the approval of the National Assembly.
Senator Akinyelure noted that an initiative like the AIM which is guaranteed to raise the profile of Abuja as a city and Nigeria as a whole will be nurtured into a world-class event.
“This is another worthy addition to the laudable achievements of the Honourable Minister of FCT and Honourable Minister of State, this project will enhance the image of FCT and Nigeria as a whole, we are .enthusiastic about it and fully behind it” Senator Akinyelure affirmed.
Senator Akinyelure is also confident President Muahammadu Buhari is interested in the Abuja International Marathon as he is always keen to support any positive project that would enhance the unity and well-being of Nigerians.
Lucas Istafanus, Director of Sports FCT said they are equally excited about the project and would give Unicentral all the support they need for a world-class event.
On his part, the Project Coordinator Femi Abegunde thanked the Honourable Minister of FCT and the Honourable Minister of State for their support.
Abegunde noted that up until now, Abuja was the only capital city in Africa with no international marathon of its own but with the support of the two ministers and other stakeholders, that blemish has been removed.
“We are very grateful for all the support we have gotten so far and we are on course to have the first edition of AIM on December 17. Like other well-organised races in the world, the Abuja International Marathon which sits well with the master of the city will also be bringing in revenue for the city” the Project coordinator assured.
Abegunde enjoined the friends of the FCT and Corporate Nigeria as a whole to key into the Abuja International Marathon.
The Director of Communication and Media Olukayode Thomas thanked the sporting press for the warm reception they have given to the Abuja International Marathon even as he admits they are the biggest stakeholders.
Thomas revealed that one of the innovations the AIM will be bringing media awards in order raise the bar of sports reporting in Nigeria.
“ There will be a competitive media award that will offer premium prize money for winners. Entry for awards will open immediately after the race and winners in seven categories and the overall winner will be announced in the first quarter of 2023.” Mr Thomas assured.
On calls to have a media race by the side of the Abuja International Marathon, Thomas said no promises can be made although it would be tabled before the organisers for consideration.