Former governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, has said the reason he instituted the Okpepe road race is to bring government presence to the surrounding communities and to take advantage of the natural landscape of the areas.
This was even as the Deputy Governor, Philip Shiabu, yesterday, declared open the school pupils sports programme, tagged: Let’s Play, as part of events heralding the 2017 Okpekpe 10 kilometres marathon race scheduled for Saturday.
The deputy governor was joined by Oshiomhole in the exercise which had over 1,000 pupils gathered as participants.
Addressing the pupils at Edo University, Iyamo Sport Complex, the deputy governor encouraged them to engage in sports for their physical and mental development.
Shiabu described sports as a sector that kept children busy meaningfully aside from keeping them away from social vices. He urged teachers to always encourage their pupils to engage in sporting activities.
On plans to have a wider coverage for the exercise, Shaibu said government was currently working out a plan to provide sports facilities in all primary schools across the 18 local government areas of the state to regenerate grassroots sports.
Speaking with newsmen, Oshiomhole described the ‘Let’s Play’ initiative as a supper well-thought out plan to encourage development of grassroots sports.
On his part, one of the organisers and former Nigeria Super Eagles striker, Victor Ikpeba, explained that the ‘Let’s Play’ initiative was born along the Okpepe race to expose the children to different sports and encourage them to engage in physical training to keep fit.