From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has endorsed the forthcoming marathon race tagged: Oloibiri – Run Yenagoa Half Marathon.
The international event is expected to attract a large number of amateur and professional athletes and visitors from within and outside Nigeria to Yenagoa and Oloibiri Oil well, thereby, establishing the race as a unique marathon that would reinvent Oloibiri national heritage for posterity.
Sylva, in an endorsement letter he personally signed, said the ministry believes the initiative would boost petro-tourism.
The letter reads in part: “We are delighted by the idea of a half-marathon event and we believe that it is a worthy initiative that will promote sports and talent development, fitness and healthy living, petro-tourism and other economic benefits that the event will bring to Bayelsa State and Nigeria. The objective of the event is to showcase Oloibiri, Nigeria’s first discovery of crude oil in commercial quantity, to the world and bring it to the fore of our national and international recognition and visibility.”
The Managing Director of Mahogany 21 Century Concepts, the facilitator of the event, Mr Eyinimi Omorozi, said the marathon event, which will be the first of its kind to ever hold in this part of the country, is expected to attract local and international runners to participate in any one of the three race categories, 5km, 10km and the main 21km race.
He said the Oloibiri -Run Yenagoa Half Marathon is aimed at promoting sports and talent development and other socio-economic benefits.
He said: “’Oloibiri run’ will serve as a strategic platform to give national and international recognition and visibility to Oloibiri in the attempt to promote and preserve for posterity, the Oloibiri national historical heritage that has far too long been abandoned, neglected and seemingly forgotten.