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 taken 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 as our overseas based athletes who will descend on Calabar will be veritable role models for the youth.â€