Nigeria, Cameroon, Mali, others for Warri Relays as AFN honours late Awoture Eleyae
The Nigerian 4x100m relay team and their counterparts from four other African countries, including Cameroon, Niger Republic and Mali will feature in this year’s Warri Relays on Thursday in Asaba, Delta State.
According to the Head Coach of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Seigha Porbeni, the event would be used to honour former Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa (SCSA), Dr. Awoture Eleyae, who died on Friday in Benin City, Edo State.
Eleyae, a native of Uzere, Isoko South Council of Delta State, headed the SCSA from 1992 to 2004.
He was a member of many international professional bodies, whose pet project, Awoture Eleyae’s U-14, U-15 and U-17 Athletics competitions in Ozoro, led to the discovery of many Nigerian talents, including Ese Brume, Divine Oduduru and Favour Ofili between 2013 and 2014.
Speaking with The Guardian, yesterday, Porbeni said: “We are holding a three in one athletics event on July 27 at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba to honour the late Dr. Awoture Eleyae for his contributions to sports in Nigeria and the entire African continent.
“Apart from about five African countries coming for the 4x100m and 4x400m relay events, we have directed all secondary schools in all the three senatorial districts of Delta State to produce three teams to compete in the 4x100m, 4x400m and mixed relays. The event is holding in Asaba instead of Warri Stadium because of renovation work going there,” Porbeni stated.
The Nigerian 4x100m relay team could not qualify for Budapest on Saturday in Cotonou, Benin Republic following a mix up in their baton exchange.
The Guardian recalls that while the late Dr Awoture Eleyae was serving as a National Chief Track and Field Athletics coach, he captained the Nigerian Basketball team to the first All Africa Games in 1965. He also designed the Nigerian Institute for Sports (NIS), and became the first Principal of the Institute from 1975 to 1984, where he rose to the substantive post of Deputy Director of Sports, National Sports Commission (NSC) and also acted as Director General of the Commission from February 1981 to May, 1982.
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