October 5, 2019, is the date Onitsha City Marathon is expected to hold. Registration for the race which is a 21 kilometre is currently on and it was expected to have over 10,000 athletes including 100 local and foreign elite athletes from different parts of the world.
When the promoters of this half marathon conceived the idea, little did they know that the real beneficiary is the State Government. And this brings to bear the fact of the saying which holds that “the end in view is the cause of the starting point.”
Now that the marathon is almost here, the true benefits are just numerous to ignore. Given the painstaking preparations by the organisers who now proud themselves as the first marathon organisers in Africa to be fully certified by all the international bodies (IAAF, AIMS) and even being affiliated to the AFN, ever before the first race, one can say that they (LOC) are somewhat thorough in deed.
But the truth be told, Anambra State has a lot to reap from the international half marathon. First, the event would aid the government in providing healthy recreation for the youths, especially the first 10 who will cart away some cash reward, hence growing into the bread winner category.
The media exposure will up shoot the State to a tourism centre. The fact that the international media would show case the event would prompt the government to fix the routes of the race; upgrade the street lights and even tidy up the dirt disposals that are along the streets.
The main attraction is the influx of the foreign exchange that the elite athletes as well as those in diaspora would bring. The Internally Generated Revenue – IGR – would surge as business activities come alive.
The business community also will benefit immensely from this event. Many of them who are likely to invest in the race, stand to gain serious international exposure that would boost their businesses. The thousands of eyeballs that would watch the race both live and on TV shall impact on their products. The banks and other financial institutions will not be left out. The hoteliers, restaurateurs and even the mama-put will smile to the bank. The tricycle riders, popularly known as Keke will have a field day; just as the registered taxi drivers would be in high demand.
It truly behooves on the government and the various ministries to tap in on this high profile event that will be an annual occurrence in the State’s sports calendar. But it also becomes a wake-up call on the government to hasten the construction of the international airport that has been in the pipeline, some two years now.
The Anambra State government, by this singular event, would actualise her dream of living up to the A State status. Even the possibility of the state going into bilateral trade with some of the countries of the elite athletes becomes attainable.
From all indications, the State stands a better chance of becoming the fulcrum of bigger international business initiatives with this half marathon metamorphosing into an A Grade Level race that would become a race for the Super Stars. If New York hosts over 17 races annually, generating over $12billion, what stops Onitsha City Marathon from keying into that and make Onitsha and her citizens, mega money city.
In summary, the Onitsha City Marathon will end up the biggest image launderer for the State.
The marathon helps government in solving the unemployment problem of the state, as not less than 7,000 direct jobs shall be created by the event, as our rich culture would be projected and tourism would become an instant boom.
The State is shown to the world as a working state where security is top notch and infrastructures available.
Finally, documentaries, both electronics and print, pre and post of the event shall project the people of the state as a happy people with a somewhat good standard of living. This in turn attracts more FDI (Foreign Direct Investment).No tags for this post.