Organisers of the maiden South East Sports Foundation athletics competition have assured that all invited stars would get free meal, transportation money and cash prizes. The competition, scheduled for Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu, holds on March 19.
The South East Sports Foundation is a pet project of United States-based Nigerian former athlete, Victor Okorie, who was one of the most gifted hurdlers to rise from the nation’s school sports system. Okorie, who won a silver medal for Team Nigeria at COJA 2003 All Africa Games in Abuja, has been bankrolling a scholarship programme for athletes and training of some Nigerian coaches at the National Institute For Sports (NIS) in Lagos.
Speaking with journalists yesterday from his base in the United States, Okorie stated that the free meal, transportation money and cash prizes would be for invited athletes from the South-East region only.
Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is among top personalities expected to grace the event, which was originally billed for March 13, but moved to March 19 to allow Rangers FC honour a league match at the venue.
The organisers say registration for the event will end on Friday, March 12, just as they directed all Nigerian athletes to contact [email protected] to sign into the programme.
Meanwhile, Okorie has commended some Nigerians including Chilaka Emmanuel, who is based in United Kingdom, Raphael Ihunaegbo (Canada), Ibifuro West (USA) and Patrick Ike Chinedu (Spain) for their contributions to the South-East Sports Foundation project.
“I also like to thank all Governors in the South-East States, Sports Commissioners, and Directors of Sports. My special thank goes to Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu of Abia State and his Deputy Ude Oko Chukwu, as well as Abia State Director of Sports, Sir Isaac Ogbonna, for his remarkable job. Ejikeme Ikwunze (Mr. Football) and the Chancellor, Gregory University Uturu, Abia State, Professor Ibe, have been helpful in the area of sports development in the state.”
Two Nigeria-based hip hop and reggae artist, Leo Saint and BadManQ are expected to team up with Nigerian-American afrobeat artist based in Minnesota, E’Major, to thrill the athletes at the competition.