AFN officials relocate to Jalingo for Cross-Country race, AGM
• It’s strength-building exercise for athletes, says Gadzama
Top officials of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) will, today, gather in Jalingo, Taraba State, to start final preparations for the maiden National 10km Cross-Country Championship, which holds on Saturday.
The race is being organised in fulfillment of the road map of the Tonobok Okowa-led AFN executive board to develop athletics across the six-geo-political zones of Nigeria.
Apart from the 10km Cross Country race, the AFN will also hold its Annual General Meeting in the city. The AGM, which was earlier fixed for Bauchi, will now hold in Jalingo.
The Guardian learnt that Okowa and other officials, including the Secretary General, Rita Mosindi, are expected to hit Jalingo today to put finishing touches to preparation for the race and the AGM.
AFN First Vice President and Road Race Sub-Committee Chairman, Tafida Gadzama, said the cross-country race is also being organised to help develop Nigeria’s middle and long distance runners.
“You know cross country running is a sport in which teams and individuals run on open air courses over natural terrain such as dirt and grass.
“This way, our athlete will be building enormous strength, as the hills and mud develop power and resilience in their calves, hamstrings and quads,” he stated.
Gadzama continues: “Most of the world-class long-distance runners prepare for their season by running in cross-country races. Kenya has held many races already since December and the World Cross-Country race is holding next month in Australia. I believe the AFN is going in the right direction with its developmental plans for distance runners.”
According to the AFN, prize monies will be given to top 10 finishers in the senior men and senior women categories.
The AFN Annual General Congress was earlier fixed for Saturday, January 21, in Bauchi, but was shifted to Jalingo.