The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has promised to support the Ijesha Grand Marathon which first edition has been slated to come up on the 3rd of April 2021. The 21 kilometer marathon is being organized by Uniq FM and Freedom TV, both in Ilesa, to create platform for long distance athletes in State of Osun and its environs to showcase their potentials
The date was disclosed on Friday, 15th January during the official unveiling of the historic event held at the premises of BELTIJ LTD, Kilometer 3, Ilesa/Akure Expressway, Iwaraja, Ilesa, the firm that is sponsoring the road race.
A member of the board of Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Dare Esan who led other notable officials such as top Athletics Coach, Tony Osheku from the Athletics governing body to the unveiling pledged to give the road race all necessary support to earn recognition of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) like other well organized road races in Nigeria such as Okpekpe Race and Lagos Marathon.
Esan, an Ijesa-born and well travelled sports journalist with preference for athletics reporting, expressed his joy over the development while thanking the organizers and sponsor for deeming it fit to bring a high profile athletics event to Ijesaland.
The CEO of BELTIJ Ltd, Tijani Remilekun Usman, who is the sponsor the race in his remark, said he decided to sponsor the event in order to take the youths out of the streets and redirect their energy and focus from cyber crimes to good things sports can offer.
“Most of our youths nowadays occupy themselves with unproductive activities that youthful exuberances are associated with such as illicit drugs-use, cultism, violent practices, juvenile delinquencies and other social vices. I believe they can be positively engaged in healthy sporting activities that can enhance their future. I decided to bring my company to Ilesa with the view to provide employment opportunities for the youths”, Tijani noted.