Ecobank boss explains decision to run in Okpekpe race
The Managing Director of Ecobank, Charles Kie, has signed on for the fifth Okpekpe international 10km race scheduled to hold on May 13 in Okpekpe, near Auchi in Etsako East Local Council in Edo State.
Kie registered for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Bronze Label race Thursday at the bank’s corporate headquarters in Lagos and revealed he will be running to create awareness about a clean environment to give support to the Green-Girl Project, which the reigning Miss Nigeria, Chioma Stephanie Obiadi, will be projecting at the race next month.
Ecobank is the official bank of the only road race in Nigeria listed by the international governing body for athletics, the IAAF in its list of international competitions for the first half of 2017 and Kie has restated his company’s commitment to sustaining their support for the event.
“Okpekpe’s vision of a top quality competition, which affords top athletes from across the continent of Africa the opportunity to compete and mingle matches our vision as a pan-African bank. We are delighted to be a strong part of the success story of the race and very thrilled that the race has gone digital,” he said.
Race promoter and originator, Mike Itemuagbor, thanked Ecobank for their support and urged management and workers of the company to track their managing director on race day via the Okpekpe race tracking application which is available on iPhone and Android App stores.
‘’Management and staff can monitor the performance of their managing director via our tracking app. This is the first time a road race in Nigeria is making use of a tracking application and it is a completely new experience we have designed to engage the athletes and the fans either coming for the race or who wish to find out from any part of the world updates on the race,” said Itemuagbor, who also praised Edo State government for its contribution to the development of the race, especially via the provision of a safe and conducive environment for the race.
“Edo State has provided so much equity for us through provision of infrastructure, security and a peaceful atmosphere for us to thrive,” said Itemuagbor who revealed how the race came about.
“One of the things that pushed us to begin the race was the criticism that Edo State government was constructing roads that lead to nowhere. We then decided to use sports to open up some of the areas where the roads were constructed. Now people all over the world know there is a place in Edo State in Nigeria called Okpekpe. It has become a destination of sort for top class, internationally recognised sporting event.’’
The Okpekpe international 10km road race is powered by Pamodzi Sports Marketing, leaders in sports marketing and hospitality business in Nigeria.It is the first and only road race in Nigeria that has been granted full membership of Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) and recognised as one of the prestigious road races in the world and the only race with an IAAF label status in West Africa.