By Juliet Ebirim
In the last couple of years, athletics seem to be staging a comeback in the Nigerian sports circle. There is increased enthusiasm and renewed passion for the sport among Nigerians, who are naturally known to be football lovers. One good example of athletics revival in Nigeria is the popular Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, which undoubtedly has put Nigeria in the global spotlight.
What many don’t know, however, is the behind-the-scenes efforts of a seasoned sports administrator, Bukola Olopade whose contributions to the rising profile of athletics cannot be underestimated.
Bukola Olopade who is the Managing Director of Nilayo Sports, a thriving sports management company with excellent track record in organizing and hosting of world class sporting events first made headlines when he assumed office as one of the youngest commissioners in Ogun state. Bukola’s magic wand turned around the sports sector in Ogun state in less than four years.
Some of his legacies include the hosting of the first ever Ogun State National Sports Festival tagged Gateway Games, establishment of the state’s owned football club, Gateway FC and so many other accomplishments. No doubt, his achievements in Ogun state paved way for a bigger role at the national level.
- Lagos will miss Fasinro greatly – Sanwo-Olu
- NSE moves 462.31m shares worth N7.92bn in negative trading
Not one to run away from challenges, Bukola Olopade has brilliantly moved on to greater things. And one of his current projects is the JAC Motors Abeokuta 10km Race which is set to change the face of sporting events in Ogun State. After playing a major role in the success story of what is now an international event, the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, the Nilayo Sports company under the leadership of Bukola Olopade has concluded plans to take the train of sports development to other South west cities like Abeokuta, Remo, Akwa-Ibom, Asaba, and the federal capital territory, Abuja.
The primary objective of these International Athletics Association Federation(IAAF) backed races is to spread economic prosperity to the hosting cities through sports and ultimately to showcase the tourism potential of these cities to thousands of participants from all walks of life.
The Abeokuta race proudly sponsored by JAC Motors and other co-sponsors like Access Bank will come up on November 2nd, 2019. Interestingly, the historic event which promises to be a blend of sports and entertainment will attract thousands of participants from across Africa.
Top on the list of exciting prizes is the star prize of $5000 for the winner in the male and female categories, and N1, 000, 000 for the first Nigerian athlete to cross the finish line.
The Abeokuta JAC Motors 10km Race is another first for Bukola Olopade’s Nilayo Sports.