by crossriverwatch admin
In a bid to consolidate on the gains of sport tourism in the state and country at large, the Cross River State government has reached a mutual partnership agreement with Active Sports Foundation and Connect Marketing Services to stage the first international marathon and carnival race known as “Calabar Marathon And Carnival Run” come Easter Monday in April 2014.
In a remark while addressing newsmen, Cross River Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr. Patrick
Ugbe expressed high hopes that this event billed to become an annual sports event on the state calendar will boost the economy of the state and will engage more people in sports through racing.
He said, “The forthcoming Calabar marathon and carnival run will not only enrich our tourism calendar but will meaningfully engage our youth, test our sporting development effort and prepare us for any competition within these arena. We will partner with the Athletic Federation of Nigeria to make it a mouth watering competition which will be open to all and sundry.
“This event will go a long way in boosting our economy as it is going to be a world class event, it will also test our preparedness for the National Sports Festival in 2014”.
The Commissioner further stated that the state government will provide contributions in kind to support the event.
“The government will provide the necessary logistics, medical support, security and crowd control through liaising with the Nigeria Police. But the bulk of funding will be from the private sector which is why we are partnering with the relevant authorities”, Ugbe said.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of Cross River State Tourism Bureau, Mr. Michael Williams said, “The marathon will place Calabar in the league of cities with notable international marathon and notable events in the sporting world with positive impact on sports and tourism simultaneously”.
Williams maintained that “The rich cultural heritage of the state will be complemented and improved; through this giant stride project we believe that it will also create a platform to showcase and market its produce locally and internationally. Hence; creating greater interest in the State as a lifestyle sports destination”.
Responding on behalf of the partnering companies, Mr. Kazeem Abimbola, Executive Director of Connect Marketing Service and Mr. Kanu Ndubuisi, Managing Director, Active Sports Foundation in separate interviews pledged to give their best to ensure that the goal of this partnership is
The race format for the proposed marathon will include: a marathon of 42.195km or 26.218miles named “Calabar Marathon” for professionals and a 12km or 7.456miles race named “Carnival Run” for none professionals using the already established Calabar Carnival route.
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