COVID-19: Okpekpe race organisers count losses

Organisers of the annual Okpekpe International 10km Road Race are counting their losses after failing to hold the eighth edition of the event in May, after the outbreak of  COVID-19.

The event, which was established in 2013, could not hold following the global clampdown on sporting activities, with focus now shifting to the 2021 edition.

Mike Itemuagbor, CEO of Padmozi Sports, organisers of the race, said, “It is a pandemic, everybody has a share of the loss. The point is that it is a global event, it affected even the runners that will come from Kenya, Ethiopia, and the likes, so it is a global loss not just for us.”

“At the moment we are taking stock because every business has suffered losses due to the pandemic.

“We had already gone far into preparations for the eighth edition because we prepare for the next edition the moment one comes to an end.

“All I can say is that we are committed to continuing the hosting of the event which is more important because, in a situation like this, some things might just end forever,” he added.

Spokesman of the race, Dare Esan, says the loss is unquantifiable for the organisers, business owners, athletes and fans.

“I don’t think the loss can be quantified. You can quantify in terms of money but you can’t quantify the satisfaction and excitement it brings to the people. So it is not easy to quantify the general package,” Esan said.

“The organisers have lost some money; the sponsorship they had gotten has been put on hold for now.”

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