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ECOWAS Abuja International Marathon Race Director appeals for mass support from residents and participants

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All hands are on deck to ensure the success of the 2023 ECOWAS Abuja International Marathon according to the Race Director Gabriel Okon.

As part of the measure to ensure that participants and residents of Abuja have a memorable experience, the Race Director and other functional managers including officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) embarked on route tour to identify areas that will be closed permanently for the four hours that the race will last and areas that will be partially closed.

Okon disclosed that the half marathon will start in front of the ECOWAS Commission at 7 am, while the 5-kilometre fun race will start at Banex. Plaza.

He advised runners to get to start points before 6 am on race day December 16, 2023, because “once its 6 am, Thomas Sankara Street and the Yakubu Gowon Crescent will be totally blocked, there will be partial closure on Nnamdi Azikwe Expressway but the roads will be blocked from Banex Plaza to the Vehicle Park behind the Eagles Square and the Federal Secretariat.”

The Race Director urges residents of FCT especially those who live along the route to come out in their thousands and cheer the runners. He appealed for the cooperation of residents with the organisers, especially those who will give instructions to those who intend to go out on the race day,

Said Okon, “the good news is that if we start the race by 7 am by 10 am we are done with both the half and marathon and the 5 km. so we are appealing to residents for their cooperation. We will begin our route education in all the media this week, especially for those who live around the route and those who may have important business to transact around the area on race day.

“As for runners, our kits distribution starts on Monday, December 11 to Friday, December 15 at the vehicle park behind the federal secretariat, runners apart from getting the running vests and number bibs will also get a participant guide which contains all the information they need to know especially about road closure, alternative routes, how to get to the start point on race day and where they could park their vehicles’.

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Ministry partners Yucateco to develop boxing in Nigeria

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The Minister of Sports Development, John Enoh, has expressed the Ministry’s readiness to partner with the Yucateco boxing promotions, organizers of the Yucateco Boxing League to develop boxing in Nigeria

Enoh made this known when he received Omolei Yakubu, CEO Yucateco boxing promotions in his office in Abuja on Thursday.

The Minister said the partnership with Yucateco Boxing promotions is expected to yield a range of initiatives aimed at nurturing talents, organizing competitions, and providing necessary support structures for athletes across Nigeria.

“The cornerstone and future of our sports resides at the grassroots level thus I am excited to engage with individuals who work at the grassroots level. Our country has a glorious past in boxing, but it is gradually losing that glory. Nigerians have the innate ability to excel in any sports, including boxing,” Enoh said.

“Having won Olympic gold medals in long jump and football we should win a gold medal in boxing. Through strategic partnerships such as this with Yucateco Boxing Promotion, we aim to tap into the vast talent pool within our nation and provide avenues for aspiring boxers to excel on both national and international platforms.”

Yakubu said that the sports ministry’s desire to partner with Yucateco is a testament to the growth and work done over the years saying, “What we have done is out there for everyone to see, and I am not surprised we are getting this level of recognition at this time.

“The responsibility has become even bigger with our collaboration with the sports ministry, like I have said before, our aim is to make global stars from these ones you see today as amateur or local pugilists. Our drive to change the narrative in nigerian boxing is born out of our passion to grow the sports from the grass-roots, we are ready to put our nation on the map again.”

Season one of the Yucateco boxing league came to a close recently in Lagos with the top boxing club pocketing a whopping N20m. The star boxer of the season also went home with a brand new car.

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14th Biennial Games To Produce New Talents-Force PPRO

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The Nigeria Police Force and the Oyo State Government have reaffirmed their commitment to stage a world-class 14th biennial Police Games.
The event with the theme ‘Competing for peace, unity, stability and development of the country is slated to hold from Saturday, 24th February to next week Saturday, 2nd March 2024 in Ibadan the capital city of Oyo State.
Speaking at the press briefing held in Ibadan, the Force PPRO, ACP Muyiwa Adejobi stated that the 14th biennial games will produce new talents for the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the country at large.
He further revealed that the sporting event will promote peace, and stability in the country and reduce crime activities in the country.
According to the PPRO, “We are tired of hearing old names of athletes, many of them have retired and we want to use the games to recruit new talents that will represent Nigeria and West Africa in sporting activities.
“We are expecting over 4000 athletes from the 17 zonal commands across the country. Our Presence in Oyo State will improve security and economic status of the State”.
ACP Adejobi maintained that the NPF is fully committed to taking the lead in sporting development while revealing that the game will strengthen the unity of the country.
He, however, commended the Oyo state government for accepting to host the 14th Police Games stating that the state government has set the pace for others
to follow.
Speaking further, the Oyo State Commissioner for Youth and Sport, Miss Wasilat Adegoke, further re-affirmed the commitment of the state government to hold the sporting festival, adding that the presence of police contingency and sport-loving fans will improve the security and economic growth of the state.
The CPS to the Oyo State Governor, Pastor Olanrewaju Sulaimon stated that the hosting of the sporting event is a blessing to the state.
He said, “Oyo state is fully ready and prepared to make the 8th-day event a success. We are hopeful that the event will produce future Olympic winners for Nigeria. It will be an exciting event and create a new dawn in athletics in Nigeria”.

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Falcons, Lionesses battle for Olympic ticket in Douala

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After missing out on the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament for three consecutive times, Super Falcons face another daunting task against fierce rivals Cameroon for a spot at the 2024 edition in Paris later this year.

This crucial two-legged tie, set for February 23 and 26, stands as the penultimate hurdle to securing a coveted spot in Paris 2024.

The Falcons eliminated Ethiopia in the second round to get to this round, where they battle the Lionesses — who beat Uganda 3-2 on aggregate — in the final qualifiers for Paris 2024 as they hope to qualify for the Olympics for the first time since Beijing 2008.

The first leg of the encounter will take place at the Stade de la Reunification in Douala on Friday (today), with the Confederation of African Football appointing Ugandan Shamirah Nabadda as the centre referee for the match.

Buoyed by the return of head coach, Randy Waldrum, who is set to be on the touchline for the first time since their World Cup outing last year in Australia and New Zealand, the Falcons will leave no stone unturned in their quest for Olympic qualification.

Speaking ahead of the game, Ifeoma Onumonu believes the Falcons have the quality to earn a berth in Paris 2024.

“I am really confident of our qualification because I think we have a good team, we are together and we are prepared, and I think we are going to beat this team both away and in our home, no disrespect to them though,” Onumonu told paimedia.com.

“I want to promise we are going to be at this year’s Olympics, I mean we haven’t been there for years, so that is our real number one goal, anything can happen in this game, but our focus right now is to beat Cameroon.”

Waldrum has assembled a squad of 21 players, who travelled to Douala for the crucial first-leg encounter.

The team will then return to Abuja for the return leg against the Lionesses at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.

 

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