By; AYO OJEDOKUN, Lagos
Nigeria’s foremost marathons and road races running company, Nilayo Sports Management Limited, has set October 2, 2021 date for the maiden Abuja City International Marathon with a telecommunication company and financial institution set to be the headline sponsors and main partners.
Bukola Olopade, the Chief Executive Officer of Nilayo Sports made the disclosure over the weekend that “The Abuja City International Marathon is a race that excites us because given our precedence with the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon and all our other races across the country, the Abuja City International Marathon promises to be a world class event. We have concluded discussions with a telecom giant and a financial institution. Very soon we shall invite the media to the unveiling of our sponsor and partner”.Olopade who revived the culture of marathons and road races in Nigeria after 31 years in 2016 with the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon revealed that the route of the Abuja City International Marathon has been measured and calibrated by World Athletics grade ‘A’ measurer Norrie Williamson since 2018.Williamson who was the measurer of the marathon routes of four Olympic Games, Atlanta’96, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, and Beijing 2008 and several other iconic cities marathons, described the point to point route of Abuja City International Marathon as one of the best he has measured around the world. Olopade described Abuja as an amazing city with a lot of exciting sights, “this is the reason why we are particular about making the race an international marathon that will attract the cream-de-la-crème of road running across the world.“We are working on this project with the World Athletics, Athletics Federation of Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development, we are set to put Abuja on the world map.”Apart from reviving the culture of marathon and road races in Nigeria with Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, the upcoming Abuja City International Marathon that will put the federal capital among the top marathon destinations in the world. Nilayo’s Midas touch in marathons and road races was behind the highly successful races like the just concluded Kaduna Marathon, Great Abeokuta 10KM Race, Valuejet IAU African Championships Remo, Ijebu International Half Marathon among other sporting events across the country “This is the reason why we have gotten a telecom giant and a financial institution who are ready to commit to the race to make it a success because they have also seen these possibilities and how it will change the trajectory of sports sponsorships in Africa and the rest of the world. The partnerships will be announced very soon.” Olopade said.