Kaduna State Government has unveiled plans to organize the maiden international marathon in November this year.
Mr Jimi Lawal, the Chairman of the committee for the competition, said this in Kaduna during a meeting of marathon stakeholders in the state.
Lawal, who is also the Senior Adviser and Counselor to Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir Ahmed el-Rufai, said that it was in furtherance of its commitment to revive and develop sports that government took the decision to organise the marathon race in the state.
He said that the competition, which he described as a strictly community affair, required the active involvement of the stakeholders.
According to him, no fewer than 10,000 persons, including youths, mostly from higher educational institutions and other senior citizens, are expected to participate in the race.
The committee chairman said that the sale of participation forms would soon commence.
He said the cost of the forms ranges from N5,000 for adults to N3,000 for children below 18 and free for athletes at 65 and above.
Lawal further said that prizes would be awarded to top 10 male and female local and internationals.
He said that preparations had reached advanced stage to ensure a successful, hitch-free event.
The Commissioner for Sports Development, Professor Kabir Mato, said that government intended to make the competition an annual event as obtained in Lagos and the United Kingdom.
Prof. Mato said that the race would not only create healthy living but promote and strengthen bonding among communities in the state.
He described the stakeholders’ meeting as fruitful, saying that discussions had expanded from the central planning committee to stakeholders within and outside the state.
“Athletics Association of Nigeria, security agencies and tertiary institutions were all part of the meeting,” the commissioner said.
Also, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Amina Baloni, said the race “will help to improve and boost people’s immune system and reduce body bags.”
Baloni encouraged the sporting community in the state to show greater interest in the competition.
She further advised participants not to overstress themselves but work within their pace for better result and improved general wellbeing.