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Enugu Gov. Joins 2024 Coal City Marathon, Says it’s opportunity for Talent Discovery

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Enugu State Governor, Dr Peter Mbah acknowledging cheers as he joins Coal City Marathon

Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State, has received cheers and commendations from residents of the state for actively participating in the 2024 Coal City Half Marathon held in the state’s capital on Saturday.

This was even as the governor promised that his administration was working towards strengthening and improving subsequent marathons in the state by making it attractive enough for international athletes to participate as a world-class sporting event.

Governor Mbah, who joined in the 21.79km half marathon, which kicked off at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, stated that the event would serve as an opportunity to discover young talents and for all sports lovers as well as the elderly to keep fit and live a healthy lifestyle.

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He said his administration was keen on sustaining and consolidating the huge success recorded in this year’s marathon through the right investment in the development of the sports industry in the areas of sporting infrastructure and facilities, adding that the state saw sports as business and source of wealth creation for the people.

“We’re investing hugely in our sports sector, and we’re not only treating sports as leisure or recreation, but we’re also seeing the sports industry as key business. That’s why in addition to quickly returning the pitch, once we came in, to enable Rangers International return to the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, we just awarded the contract to renovate and overhaul our stadium and bring it to world-class standard.

“You also know that in that sector, we’ve just recently entered a memorandum of understanding to build a world-class entertainment and sports centre and this is all going to reinforce our position in the sports industry,” he added.

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While congratulating the participants, who came from over 20 states across the country, the governor stressed that the goal of the event was to promote unity, discipline and cooperation amongst Nigerians, saying in a few years, the state would join the league of world athletics competitions because of the level of investments the administration was committing to the industry.

“What is even more important is the desire of the state to take the Enugu State Marathon event to the next level. In few years, I want you to note that the Enugu State Marathon is going to be part of the world international athletic events. Just as you have the Boston Marathon, the London Marathon, you’ll also have the Enugu Marathon in the international athletics calendar,” he added.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Barr Lloyd Ekweremadu, explained that part of the goals of the marathon was to continue to foster the culture of sports and fitness, which engenders healthy development.

He expressed satisfaction over the success of the event, saying participants from other states were happy about the hospitality and the excellent works the governor was doing in the state through his infrastructural drive.

Commending the Zenith Bank PLC for partnering with the State Ministry of Youth and Sports, the commissioner maintained that this year’s event couldn’t have been possible without the support of the governor, community patrons, and other businesses.

The highlight of the event was the presentation of prizes to the winners of this year’s Marathon. Francis James, Israel Sadjo, and Nenfort Mathias clinched the sum of ₦1,000,000, ₦500,000 and ₦300,000 as the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places respectively in the male category, while Patience Dahyop, Agofurb Charity and Munitikat Emmanuel also clinched the same amounts as the winner, 1st and 2nd runners up, respectively, in the female category

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