Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode has asked for the provision of Marathon Fun Parks in Lagos during the second edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.
In a statement on Tuesday in Lagos by the Media and Communications Department of Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Ambode said this would ensure that Lagosians supported the marathon’s 2017 edition.
This year’s edition of the marathon is scheduled for February 11.
“Gov. Ambode, charged the Marathon Organising Committee, headed by Victor Etuokwu, to work out the modalities and look at the possibility of having about two fun parks at Falomo or Teslim Balogun Stadium,’’ the statement read.
It quoted the governor as saying the parks would give Lagosians the opportunity to watch some of the world’s top 100 marathoners in a relaxed atmosphere with entertainment by their favourite musicians.
“The Marathon Fun Parks will give Lagosians, who cannot make it to the finish line, the opportunity to cheer the runners in a relaxed environment. That is fun, which also gives room for bonding,” Ambode was quoted saying.
The statement also quoted Yusuf Alli, the General Manager, Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, as giving accolades to Ambode’s initiative of introducing fun parks.
He said this was a means of taking culture and marathon to the grassroots.
“The benefits of marathons and road races are immense, and the health benefits of walking, jogging, and running are abundant as they prevent and cure many illnesses and diseases, especially diabetes and hypertension.
Unfortunately most Nigerians, don’t walk or even jog. `Okada’ is killing many Nigerians. Bikes will take them from the front of their houses and drop them at their destinations. We don’t exercise at all.
Waste and sugar that could have been lost by walking, jogging or running are stored in the body, thereby causing serious damages and leading to terminal diseases,” Alli said.
The General Manager said Lagosians and Nigerians in general would benefit immensely if they embrace the culture of marathon which the governor was building and make it a way of life.
“Walking, jogging and running produce healthier citizens, thereby allowing for less spending by individuals, family and government on healthcare. It is a win-win situation for everybody,’’ he added
NAN/ Jibril .O