Kwara, the State of Harmony and the gateway between the North and West will, next Wednesday, host the cream of athletes from Niger, Kogi, Benue, Plateau, and Nasarawa in the inaugural edition of North Central Athletics Championships at the main bowl of the magnificent Ilorin Stadium Complex.
The event is the initiative of the Vice-President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) who is also the Chairman of Kwara Athletics Association (KAA), Tunde AbdulKareem Agbaji.
Athletes from the geo-political zone will not only vie for medals, competition for top finish in the one day event is expected to be tough as there is prize money to be won by the top three finishers.
Athletes are expected to compete in the sprints events, quarter-mile, middle and long distance, jumps, hurdles, and the relays. Technical Manager of the meet, Yussuf Alli and Coach Abiodun Adeyemi, are expected to manage and organize the one-day event.
The sponsor of the championships, Agbaji, a former quarter-miler and retired chartered accountant of Kwara State said he decided to sponsor the event because, “athletics in Nigeria has witnessed a new resurgence, especially at the international level where we have won many medals, particularly at the last Africa Championships and the Commonwealth Games.
“We need to sustain the momentum by discovering new talents. Also, remember Kwara used to be a centre of excellence for track and field in Nigeria. We have produced great athletes like the late Sunday Bada, Ahmed Adio, Bisi Afolabi, Olapade Adeneken, and many others. We are now continuing in that culture of discovering new talents and nurturing them to become world beaters,’’ he concluded.