A mini marathon a first of its kind will hold in the home of President Muhammadu Buhari in Katsina before the end of 2019.
Initiator of the project, Alhaji Ahidjo Keita, who is the chairman of Katsina State Athletics Association of Nigeria said the idea is to breed marathoners who can later on compete favourably with their counterparts from Kenya and Ethiopia.
He said the championship will also help to bridge the gap between Nigeria marathoners and their foreign counterparts.
Alhaji Ahidjo regretted the idea where by the foreign athletes come here on most occasions and cart away all the prize monies.
He believed that the Nigerian athletes can also do it if they are engaged in local tournaments adding that the country has the capacity to compete at the highest level.
Ahidjo said, “Charity they say begins at home that is what informed me to come up with this mini marathon.”
He said race will attracts participants from the 36 states of the country including the Federal Capital Territory will see the overall winner going home with a brand new car.
The Katsina Athletics Association Chairman said he is collaborating with all stakeholders who have the zeal for the sport to stage the marathon annually or biennially.
He said by staging it the streets will be devoid of miscreants which may later use the opportunity to launch themselves into limelight.
Ahidjo expressed dissatisfaction with the standard of athletics in the country which he said has nose-dived compared to the days of Chidi Imos, Innocent Egunnikes, the Ezinwa brothers, David and Ozmond, Olopade Adenekan, Falilat Ogunkoya and Chioma Ajunwa.
“I am not satisfied with the state of the sport, a lot has been neglected in terms of development as we do not have enough championships on our calendar for the home based athletes.
Something has to be done to bring back the glorious past of the sport,” he concluded.