Lagos – Rafiu Ladipo, the Chairman of Nigeria Football and Other Sports Supporters Club, has commended the organisers of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon for the publicity they accorded the race.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Marathon, an initiative of the Lagos State Government, was sponsored by Access Bank and supported by Eko Atlantic City, Eko Hotel/Suits and Locozade Sports.
Ladipo told NAN that he was impressed with the “comprehensive publicity’’ given to the event which created the much needed awareness and attracted fans from within and outside the country.
“The media has not only done their job, but did a remarkable coverage worthy of commendation; I am impressed because a large number of fans from even beyond this nation are watching.
“Some people are physically present at various venues to cheer the competitors, while others are watching it on their television sets and phones because it is aired live,’’ he said.
He, however, recommended that subsequent editions should be made to hold on national environmental sanitation days to give more fans the opportunity to be part of it.
“Activities and movements are going on in some areas that are not part of the route but if the event is fixed on environmental days, it will attract more spectators.
“Residents of the route used for the competition exhibited a good spirit of patriotism, they identified with the event and came out to cheer the athletes,’’ he added.
Ladipo said that the tournament returning after 30 years was good for the growth of the sport which would attract lots of economic benefit Lagos State and Nigeria.
Tayo Balogun, a sports analyst, urged the organisers not to allow politics to interfere in order to sustain the marathon.
He noted that the 1st Lagos Marathon which was sponsored by telecommunications giant, MTN, then later by GLO fizzled out because politics was involved.
He said that if the marathon was properly handled, it will be great tourists’ attraction and impact on the economy of the state in the subsequent editions.
Balogun added that it could gain the status of some of the world known marathons. (NAN)