The new Chairman of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Lagos State Chapter, Debo Oshundun has commended Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode, the host city, and Access Bank, the title sponsor for the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.
Oshundun commended the wonderful initiative which has put Nigeria on the global marathon map while also pointing out that so much was achieved in the first two years of the marathon.
“Within two years; the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has earned an IAAF Bronze Label,” Oshundun noted.
He also reckoned that the marathon was an empowering event for thousands of Lagosians as it provides employment, especially, in the hospitality department, painting and even the sportswear manufacturing industry.
The Lagos SWAN chairman also commended the initiative behind the marathon expo which has enabled people to see local goods displayed at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
For the 2018 edition, there will be a seminar on Health and Wellness for people coupled with opportunities to check their heartbeat rates, sugar level, blood pressure and much more, just like in the previous editions.
Despite the commendations, Oshundun urged the Lagos State Governor and Access Bank not to rest on the successes already garnered.
He recalled that while he was the correspondent for the News Agency of Nigeria in South Africa; Johannesburg, a City with a population of about 10 million, they boasted approximately 12 international marathons every year.
“We still need more marathons I must confess. I am glad that Lagos has taken the first step to have one international marathon, hopefully, more will follow,” Oshundun added.
The Lagos SWAN chairman noted that marathons are of immense benefits to cities all over the world as they boost local tourism, the local economy while the health benefits cannot be measured.
Science has proven that marathon running helps prevent various diseases, principally those around physical fitness hence there is the need to make such an all-year-round event and not just one off every other year.
The 2018 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon is scheduled for Saturday, February 10.