A Fitting Capital: Mass Participation Road Running As A Currency of Nigeria’s Development

By Chief Bukola Ololade

The decentralisation of development is one of the beauties of developed countries. Amenities, Infrastructure, and initiatives indicative of development are likely to be found in many states Nationwide. Nilayo recognises sports as a veritable tool of development and we are determined to take the transformative benefits of sports to as many Nigerians as possible.

This is the case with Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria, which, since 2016, has hosted the wrong acclaimed Lagos City Marathon. After the success of Lagos, questions started to pop up in our strategy sessions and chief among them was this: why will the capital of a country of Nigera’s stature not has world-class mass participation road-running event? Nigeria needed an answer to the marathons and the marathons of Berlin, Brussels, and Madrid; hence the birth of the Abuja City International Hall Marathon.

With the idea on the ground, we needed the partnership of forward-thinking brands who saw the grand vision of the Abuja City International Half Marathon: to become the best half marathon in Africa. PremiumTrust Bank immediately sought the headline sponsorship and the race is now known as the Premium Trust Bank Abuja City International Half Marathon. All other sponsors – 7Up, Aquafina, Nord, Dana Air, and Team 33 Production – are just as crucial in this quest to take the transformative benefits of sports to Nigerians. The support of our sponsors, which transcends finances, is helping us harness resources toward rousing local Abuja communities.

Community engagement is at the heart of every objective of this race. We want to provoke a desire for an active lifestyle in local Abuja communities long after race day. That is the ultimate metric of our success. Beyond health benefits, we partnered with many local businesses in the FCT. This has put a lot of money into the Abuja economy; from tourism to hospitality and logistics.

Any endeavour of this magnitude that does not have the input of the youth population will struggle for sustainability. This is why we dedicated a lot of resources to platforming young Nigerians to be part of a world-class event through volunteering. Hopefully, we have inspired a generation of leaders, thinkers, and doers who will take Nigerian sports to greater heights.

Aside from corporate sponsors, we would not have an event to host without the buy-in of all the government agencies in the FCT. From the Minister to security agencies and all civil servants, everyone has been supportive and this has helped us plan an exciting race on Abuja’s sprawling and beautiful landscape.

This cooperation between public and private sector entities holds the secret to creating a productive, united centre that will birth great events like the PremiumTrust Bank Abuja City International Half Marathon. As we gather to run the capital, I wish to give a hearty cheer to every person and entity taking this bold step with us.
On that note, I welcome you to the first edition of the PremiumTrust Bank Abuja City International Half Marathon. Enjoy!

Chief Bukola Ololade
Nilayo Sports Management Limited

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button