By Pamela Eboh
The Project Manager of Onitsha City Marathon, Dr Osondu Umeobi, has announced the sum of three hundred and thirty million Naira as the total prize money for participants of the 2023 Onitsha City Marathon race.
He disclosed this while addressing journalists during a press conference at the busineas school in Onitsha.
According to him, over two thousand international top athletes are being expected to participate in the race slated for September 30, 2023.
Giving details of the prizes, Umeobi said that the international male and female category winner will take home two hundred thousand United States dollars.
He said that the winner of the local (Nigeria) male category will win ten million naira cash prize while the female category will win five million naira. adding that top ten participants of Anambra state origin would equally be compensated at the event.
The project manager also saud that there eill be a media race with a one million naira prize money for the first position
He further said that this year’s event will feature a 42km race as the highest againstthe backdrop of 21km road which was featured in 2019 when the race started.
In his speech, the founder of Onitsha Business School, Prof Segun Sogbason stated that many innovations had been added to the second edition of the marathon race which include, introduction of fifty viewing centres scattered across Anambra and Delta States to create more viewership of the programme.
He added, “Onitsha City Marathon is an Initiative of the Onitsha Business School (OBS). It is a product of Doctoral and Masters Degree students simulation class aimed at providing a solution to an observed environmental challenge in an otherwise energetic community of vibrant youth populace idling away.
“OBS, the promoters of this project intent to create three world class sporting facilities cut across Onitsha City to help promote, propagate and harness the idle sports talents in the city of Onitsha and beyond.
“Our mission is to be a platform for discovering, developing the avalanche sporting energies within the host environment and Africa at large, adopting effective coordinating methodology and contemporary technology.”
“The first edition held in 2019 was participated by athletes from Kenya, Ethiopa, United Kingdom, Togo, Cameroon, China to name a few.”
He further solicited for sponsorship from individuals and private institutions so as to make it a memorable event.
In his remark, the Chairman, Anambra State Sports Commission, Mr Patrick-Estate Onyedum, represented by Ms Faith Okwonna, commended the organisers of the marathon race for the innovation, saying that other well meaning individuals shoukd join in promoting sports.
While saying that sports is not a business for government alone, she pledged government support to the programme, saying that it would not only benefit the masses health wise but will also boost the State economy, businesses and the environment at large.
In his speech, the traditional Ruler of Onitsha, Obi Alfred Achebe, represented by the President General thanked OBS for the initiative and gave assurance that he would participate in the race as well as ensure that the event record success as planned.