Preparation for Bonny Island Marathon 2022 has began, a press briefing was held in Port Harcourt with people of the press and organisers.
Bonny Island Marathon is a sports-tourism 21K marathon in Bonny Island, Rivers State. For the past four years, it has continuously evolved to meet the demand of the ever-changing social dynamics in terms of objectives, social and economic impact. Since 2018, BIM has attracted thousands of participants running as professionals, amateur, and leisure runners across the male and female category. We continue to aspire to accommodate participants with special needs.
The objective of the Bonny Island Marathon is to promote the sports-tourism sector of the Bonny Kingdom. It was also set to discover and export next generation Athletes, and be a platform known for global reputation in sports. It will portray Bonny Island to the global community as a safe, peaceful and emerging metropolitan city to live and invest in – beyond oil and gas.
For five years the organisers have been putting in the work, toiling and learning what it takes to build something of global repute which they strongly believe should be the standard. They have had their own share of challenges, recorded significant progress and successes. They were able to grow over 10,000 participants from across 23 states in Nigeria, awarded over $10,000 in awards and prizes, recorded zero casualty across four successful editions, got featured on Africa Sport On by Supersports and more, with all these they are here to begin the journey of the fifth edition.
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The Project lead, Boma Halliday stated in the press briefing,
“We owe the progress we have made to grit, steadfastness and undying efforts of the team, board, volunteers, partners, sponsors, and stakeholders. The official theme for this year’s Bonny Island Marathon is “#Run4Nigeria” and it is scheduled to hold on Saturday, 10th December, 2022 with over 10,000 expected runners. The campaign spotlights the prospects surrounding Nigeria’s polity, hopes amidst challenges, and the desire for better leadership. It is intended to promote civic responsibility, political consciousness among young people, and the clamor to include young people in governance.
We are also very excited to continue our long-standing partnership with Outsaurce PEP as our official Marketing and Communications Agency Partner. We believe that creating an internationally recognized Marathon brand in the Bonny Island Marathon contributes to the positive brand value for Nigeria not just Rivers State or the Bonny Island. In this regard, we are continuously improving and engaging relevant sports development agencies and Stakeholders in order to secure an IAAF or AIMS status to communicate high quality and international standards.
We are also working hard to put in place ground logistics and sort out necessary technicalities that will allow us to host international runners. This we are trying to achieve with existing conversations with countries with embassies in Nigeria. Every year, the Marathon season begins with a call for registration. Registration is open to the public, and for local and global athletes. We’ve recorded over 10,000 participants in the last 4 years. Internal data shows that over 80% of participants are young people within 18 – 35 years with about 25% aggregate appearance for women.
The Bonny Island Marathon in its mandate to spotlight and promote promising local athletes, sponsored its 2019 Marathon Winner, Nengiye Wilcox for the second time to the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon and the 2022 Okpekpe 10K Road Race. We believe this presented him the opportunity to not only activate his career, but see competition from a professional and global perspective.
At the Bonny Island Marathon, we believe in our people young people with dreams of transforming our regional story with sports. We intend to multiply our impact that will produce many other Nengiye’s who will be competing at the global stage from the Bonny Kingdom. We are also increasing our reward pool up to $15,000. This amount will be shared amongst the winner, runner ups (male and female respectively), indigenous winner, children category winner and persons with disability winner category.
We will also be having two classes of runners; Elite Runners – 21km : These are actual runners competing for the ultimate Prizes, and Leisure Runners – 10km: These are participants running for fitness, enthusiasm or for a course. In our plan to be an inclusive event, we are making provisions for extra 2 categories; people living with disability and secondary school children who will compete for an opportunity to win scholarships. The Bonny Island Marathon 21km category will maintain its routes and terminate at “Government School ”, while 10km runners will kick-off from Willbros Junction and terminate at Government school, Shell Gate in Bonny Local Government Area.
How to register
Visit www.bonnyIslandMarathon.com.ng to learn more. Registration starts 1st September and ends midnight 30th November, 2022. We want to use this opportunity to announce our latest addition into the Bonny Island Marathon vision; our inaugural Board of Advisors which include: Eso Celestine Ugoeze, Sokari Tobin, Zainab Muhammad Garba, Baa Amaka, Venerable Peter Kiribo Blu-Attoni, Adams Nasiru Joseph, Luckyn Loveday Belema and Lady Edith Opuada-Hart. This is a diverse board of reputable people with relevant experiences and technical know-how spanning over twenty five years across key industry verticals. We also want to appreciate and acknowledge the efforts from our team leads; Telema Halliday, Victor Banigo, Mirabel Joshua, Nada Pepple and the entire sub-team.
We begin the journey to the Bonny Island Marathon 2022 and earnestly look forward to your partnership and collaboration to see it come to life this year, even better. We want to call on interested partners and sponsors including stakeholders who would like to contribute and be part of the success of this year’s edition as we have opened our doors for sponsorships and collaboration.
Thank you to our key stakeholders; His Majesty, King Dr. Edward Asimini Williams Dappa Pepple III, Perekule XI, CON. JP. Amanyanabo and Natural Ruler of Ancient Grand Bonny Kingdom,the Bonny Chief’s Council, the Bonny Local Government through the Chairman, Hon. Anengi Barasua D. Claude-Wilcox, the Bonny Youths Federation, our medical partners, Federal Road Safety Commission, security agencies, our Board, Shell Petroleum Development Company and Nigeria LNG Limited for being with, and supporting the Bonny Island Marathon.