AFN to stage marathon races in Abuja, Kastina after COVID-19
Sports philanthropist and board member of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Ahmed Isa Kaita says the federation would stage marathon races in Abuja, Katsina and other parts of the country soon after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
Kaita, who replaced Solomon Ogba on the board of AFN after his resignation told The Guardian that the coronavirus had disrupted activities of the AFN, but added that the federation would recover its lost programmes as soon as Nigeria is declared free of the dreaded coronavirus.
Before the outbreak of the coronavirus, which led to the postponement of Edo 2020 National Sports festival, Kaita had planned to sponsor the Abuja National Relay Championship this April.
“We had plans to take marathon races to the North and organise it for Nigeria runners only with attractive price money. All that will come up as soon as Nigeria is declared free of coronavirus. We are planning to run a zonal competition in the North that will include states like Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Jigawa, Kaduna and Kano,” he stated.
Kaita, who hails from Katsina state has a track record of sponsoring and organizing athletics competitions in his home state. He had also used sports as an empowerment tool to impact on youths with sporting talents in Katsina and other states through the award of scholarships and financial empowerment for high performance after competitions.
“I live among these talented youths and since sports have a way of taking talented youths off the street, I decided to organise sports activities within and outside Katsina and today, most of the youths are happy to have made something meaningful through their talents. About 30 of them are on scholarships in various institutions in Nigeria.
“Those of us in the North have a special case in the fact that we have a large reservoir of the youth population who are mostly idle. When America had this problem, they started constructing basketball courts in schools and making sure that every youth was engaged in one sporting activity or the other. This is my idea for youths in the North. My prayer is that Nigeria comes out from this coronavirus as soon as possible,” he stated.