If everything works according to plan, the U. J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar will be the next host of the National Mobil Championship for Commonwealth trials.
Last year, the celebrated 20th edition of the championship was held in Abuja and the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) then decided that its flagship championship will be taking round as many states of the federation as will be willing to host the event.
Coming out of a five hour meeting with host Mobil Tuesday afternoon, AFN President Solomon Ogba confirmed that Calabar was in the running for this yearâ€™s event. â€œWe sent a three-man delegation led by board member Gloria Obajimi to Calabar and the report is encouragingâ€ he said.
Mrs. Obajimi who was also in Mobil house to brief the meeting on the outcome of the visit, said the track was in perfect condition, the facilities also perfect. â€œWhat thrills me about Calabar is that the grass is natural, not artificial so we will not have any problem with field eventsâ€ she said.
It was however revealed that the minuses for Calabar had to do with the availability of equipment, especially the electronic timing device that will guarantee the validation and international acceptance of times and distances returned.
Chief Ogba said they were working round solving those issues as they arise. â€œWhen we heard that Cross River State had employed some foreign coaches in athletics and also had a consultant in place to revolutionise the sport, we said to ourselves that taking Mobil there could just be the tonic they need to kick start their grassroot programme.”
cheering. â€œLet them come to paradise and they will not regret itâ€ he said. â€œ I have been told of the AFN interest and I want to assure them that there could be no better choice. We are a state reputed for hospitality and service delivery. Add to that our experience in the organization of big time events, even sports and you will be rest assured that we will deliver.
â€œThe government of his Excellency Governor Liyel Imoke is committed to the development of the youth and this event fits in perfectly â€œ he concluded.
The Championship, the biggest and most prestigious on the AFN calendar, slated for lateÂ June, is to be used to select athletes for the African Championship in July and the Commonwealth Games in India in October