Bayelsa State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Baraladei Igali has inaugurated nine sub-committees to actualize the proposed Oloibiri Run — Yenagoa Half Marathon, scheduled to hold in Bayelsa.
The inaugurated sub-committees include Economic and Administration; General Management; Media and Publicity, and Marketing/Contact.
The others are Technical; Hospitality and Protocol; Medical Services; Security and Protocol as well as Community Liaison.
The Economic and Administration sub-committee has the Bayelsa State Director of Sports, Sir Braveman Wodi, as chairman; General Management has the Permanent Secretary of the Bayelsa State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Mightyman Aye Dikuro, as chairman while Chris Odi, a sports journalist, heads the Media and Publicity sub-committee.
The Marketing/Contact sub-committee is under the chairmanship of the Permanent Secretary of the Bayelsa State Ministry of Culture and Tourism Development, Mrs Ruth Ouserigha-Etebu; seasoned sports administrator, Ms Rachael Edward-Dappa is to chair the Technical sub-committee, Dr James Omietimi chairs Medical while Evang. Naranie Karibo is to take charge of Community Liaison sub-committee.
Lawrence Alabrah, a retired military personnel, heads the Security sub-committee while Senior Special Assistant to the Bayelsa State Governor on Tourism, Piriye Kiyaramo is to take charge of Hospitality and Protocol.
Youth and Sports Development Commissioner, Hon. Baraladei Igali, while inaugurating the various sub-committees, charged the members to reach out to the corporate world to sponsor the Oloibiri Run, pointing out that their active involvement in sponsorship of sports in the state was long over due.
Igali, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mightyman Dikuro, said since after the abandonment of Otuabagi, the community hosting Oloibiri oil well 1, the half marathon will be the first major event to bring back Oloibiri into the conscience of the people.
Noting that the ministry was proud to be associated with the organisers of the half marathon, Igali expressed the hope that the event would blossom into a full marathon and would be sustained.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mahogany 21st Century Concept and Coordinator of the Half Marathon, Eyinimi Omorozi, who noted that the paper work of the event has been going on for a while, lauded the sports ministry for its support so far.
Giving an insight into the objectives of the Oloibiri Run, he said the event is to develop talent, promote tourism and also promote the culture of marathon race among Bayelsans. The event seeks to bring the world to Bayelsa. In addition, it is intended to re-invent the Oloibiri heritage, and in the process, attract national and global visibility to oil well 1.
Other objectives, according to Omorozi, include fostering new relationships; promoting fitness and healthy living as well as creating a brand asset to market Bayelsa State.
The organisers have been able to secure approval for the event from the Athletics Federation of Nigeria and also attract strategic partners to the event that enjoys the endorsement of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Bayelsa State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development as well as the state Ministry of Culture and Tourism Development.
The two-day event is expected to feature a 5-kilometre run in Yenagoa, the state capital and a 21-kilometre run at Oloibiri in Ogbia Local Government Area of the state. It will attract both amateur and professional athletes from within and outside the country.
The Oloibiri Run is expected to hold in the first quarter of 2022.