Secondary School Quarter Marathon Race Holds In Calabar
By Eme Offiong, Calabar.
A non-governmental organisation known as Talents-Afrique Reservoir Foundation, has held its sixth quarter marathon race for secondary school students in Calabar, Cross River State, Southern Nigeria.
A total of 25 secondary school students comprising 13 boys and 12 girls from 4 secondary schools in Cross River, participated in the 10.5 kilometre quarter marathon race organised to commemorate this year’s World AIDS Day.
“This will provide a platform for many young children to develop interest in athletics, positive self image and healthy lifestyle as they grow into adulthood,” Reverend Otu said. “I congratulate you for taking interest in marathon races and for completing the distance.”
“In a few years with regular practice, it is my belief that you would represent Cross River State at the national and Nigeria as a country at international competitions and win laurels like the east Africans.”
In his remarks, the Chairman and founder of Talents-Afrique Reservoir Foundation, Dr. Daniel Okwoche said that the essence of the marathon race was to discover young talents and advocate for a zero HIV/AIDS safe society.
Okwoche, who is a medical doctor, said that the theme of this year’s World AIDS Day celebration “Communities; Leadership to End AIDS By 2030” aligned with the goals and objectives of the foundation. It hinges on educating young people about the dangers of HIV/AIDS and steps to mitigate its spread.
“The marathon race is for secondary school children and the race serves as an avenue to bring children closer, educate them on the dangers of the virus and how to prevent its spread,” Dr. Okwoche said.
“This programme targets young people between the ages of eleven and nineteen. It is the most precarious stage in any individual development circle. At that age, they pass through peer pressure and tend to engage in different forms of activities.”
“These activities may expose them to contracting the HIV/AIDS, drug abuse and other vices. But, participating in an event of this magnitude would enable these young people avoid the pitfalls,” Okwoche added.
“I met such programmes and was a beneficiary. It really shaped and changed my thinking about life but along the line, such programmes disappeared in the society,” Okwoche said.
“But, I need the coming generations to know that something like this can take place rather than have wasted talents.”
He appealed to the governor, Senator Bassey Otu through the office of the first lady to partner with the foundation in its bid to enable young people discover and harness their talents.
Trophies were presented to the first place winner in the female category Miss Godsmind Eteng of Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria Secondary School, while the second and third positions went to Miss Agnes Eyo and Davina David respectively of Government Girls Secondary School, Big Qua Town, Calabar.
In the male category, Fredrick Egar of Estate Secondary School, Ikot Ansa Calabar placed first, Wisdom Edet also from the same school won the prize for second position and Franklin Oluzurike of Ideal High School, Calabar South came third.