By Esther Eugene, Warri
There was wild jubilation at the Warri Township Stadium as Deborah Pam and Emmanuel Gyang have emerged winners of the female and male category of the Warri/Effurun Peace Marathon.
The winners partook in a ten(10) kilometre race.
In a chat with newsmen, Deborah Pam expressed happiness winning the race.
She said her major challenges as an athlete is lack of funding and training facilities. Pam appealed to the Federal Government should support athletes by providing them with the relevant training facilities with funds as backing.
Pam also commended the organizers of the Warri/Peace Marathon led by Barr (Mrs.) Joyce Bozimo for the supports she has given her so far.
Also in a chat with newsmen,Emmanuel Gyang, an official of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC who emerges winner of the male category thanked God for his victory at the peace Marathon.
He said injuries has been his major challenges as an athlete in the Country.
He expressed happiness happiness that despite the injuries he was able to partake and win this year’s contest.
He thanked the organizers of the Warri/Effurun Peace Marathon saying Barr.(Mrs.) Joyce Bozimo had always been a mother to him with the kind of hospitality and love she showers on him as an athlete. He prayed God Almighty to bless and uplift her.
Gyang also thanked the Delta State Government for the supports rendered to him thus far. According to him,”Delta is my home” just as he appealed that such supports should be accorded other athletes of the federation.
Our Correspondent who covered the event reports that Deborah Pam finished the race at about 35:09sec to cling the first position. Hundung Gyang finished the race at 36:41sec to take the second position while Blessing Shambor ended the race to take the third position for the women category.
They won cash prices ranging from three hundred thousand, five hundred thousand and one million naira respectively.
Emmanuel Gyang finished the race at 30:38sec to cling the first position for the male category while Ishmael Sagio ended the race at 30:40sec to take second position. Paul James also ended the race well to come third.
Our Correspondent also reports that Victory George and Clifford Favour who have passed through the Warri/Peace Marathon are abroad doing very well.
Winners for the locals inside, Favour Adewale who took first position as she finished the race at about 47:30sec. Precious Efehun finished at 49:52sec while Hope Mosse ended the race at 50:11sec for the women category
In a chat with newsmen, the Initiator of the Warri/Effurun Peace Marathon, Barr (Mrs.) Joyce Bozimo said she will continue to raise future athletes in the Country as well as solicit for the assistance of government and private companies in Warri and it’s environs in bringing about peace and unity.
While noting that businesses and sports will not thrive if there is no peace, Barr. Bozimo said she’s using sports as an avenue to bring about peace.
According to Barr. Bozimo,”Sports does not recognize color or religion or who you are. We are all the same when it comes to sports. We are using this avenue to bring about peace and unity and also to raise future champions.”
She spoke on the challenges she’s been facing as the organizer of the Warri/Effurun Peace Marathon.
“We have many, many challenges because it costs so much money. When I started, I didn’t know it will cost millions. The Delta State Government give us a token. This year, we have not seen it yet and goodwill individuals give us.
“This year, it was Lee Engineering that came to our rescue and by the time we finish, we will be owing. Since I started, everytime we finish the race, I am owing. Am looking for money to pay. But,I still go on raising future people, great athletes, future champions by bringing about peace and unity. So, in the end, commerce is thriving. Offcourse, all that has gone will come in.”
In a remark, the Delta South Senatorial Candidate of the New Nigerian People’s Party, NNPP, Commodore Omatseye Nesiama promised to make the Warri/Effurun Peace Marathon one of the biggest sports event if he emerges as the lawmaker representing the people of the area.
“It’s going to be one of my first in my senatorial agenda. We will start attracting investors to the area. 2023, I will join Mrs. Joyce Bozimo to make sure that the event gets international rating by the special grace of God.”
Commodore Nesiama thanked Barr.(Mrs.) Bozimo for organizing the programme say,”I know that this event still has a lot preparation.
The Tompolo Foundation led by High Chief Oweizide Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo was amongst sponsors of the Warri/Effurun Peace Marathon.