The inaugural international marathon in Rivers State, designed to showcase the region’s rich cultural heritage and elegance, is slated for Saturday, May 18, 2024. Organized by Arch Raphael Limited in collaboration with the Rivers State government, led by Governor Siminalayi Fubara, this marathon holds special significance as it aligns with the state’s 57th anniversary since its establishment on May 27, 1967, emerging from the former Eastern Region of Nigeria.
The project consultant, Mr. Femi Abegunde, highlighted the strategic timing of the marathon, coinciding with Governor Siminalayi Fubara’s one-year leadership anniversary. Abegunde emphasized Fubara’s dedication to empowering youth and fostering a peaceful environment for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). He underlined the marathon’s role as a crucial element in presenting Rivers State as a center for social enterprise, entertainment, and commerce.
“The Rivers International Marathon not only recognizes the pivotal role of sports in providing opportunities for the youth but also directly promotes the governor’s vision of creating projects that catalyze SME growth. Sports, as a grassroots influencer, touches every facet of society,” remarked Abegunde.
He outlined the economic potential of the initiative, stating, “This marathon will create opportunities for widespread youth engagement, stimulate businesses, and provide prospects for individuals before, during, and after the race. The engagement spans various sectors, including traditional media, social media influencers, national and state-level athletics federation members, out-of-home providers, graphic artists, signage experts, food vendors, and marketers of various goods and services. It also aims to bolster the state’s internally generated revenue.”
With anticipation building up, marathon enthusiasts from across Africa are expected to participate as the registration portal opens on February 15, 2024, welcoming both local and international runners.