The Anambra government has endorsed the Onitsha City Marathon (OCM), a long distance race event organised by the Onitsha Business School.
The endorsement was conveyed in a letter signed by Patrick Onyedum, Chairman of the Anambra State Sports Development Commission.
The government also endorsed the second edition of OCM slated for Sept. 30 this year.
According to the letter, we hereby endorse and confirm our awareness and involvement in the second edition of the Onitsha City Marathon scheduled for Sept. 30 in Onitsha Anambra State.
“We have noted the event in the calendar of the Commission for the year as well as that of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).
“We wish you every success and be assured that we will collaborate with you to achieve the objectives of this event,” it said.
Our correspondent reports that the first Onitsha City Marathon was held in October 2019 with no fewer than 1,000 marathoners from Nigeria, and 11 other countries from African, Europe and Asia.
Prof Segun Sogbesan, Director General of Onitsha Business School, had told our correspondent that non recognition and endorsement of the OCM by the previous administration cost it a five-year sponsorship deal.
He said the government endorsement was a precondition for willing sponsors to enter into agreement with the organisers to fund the marathon.
“We still have our certification, a visiting assessor from IAAF. Onitsha had the best marathon route in Africa, we are willing to work with the Anambra State Government to develop the sector,” he said.