Organisers of the Dr. Awoture Eleyae U-14 and U-15 Athletics Championship have set aside tomorrow as arrival date for the competition, which is expected to feature over 300 young athletes from 25 local councils of Delta State at the Ozoro Polytechnic Stadium on Friday and Saturday.
The Dr. Awoture Eleyae Athletics Championship had produced notable athletes for the country since its inception, including Commonwealth gold medalist in the long jump, Ese Brume in 2013, sprinter Divine Oduduru in 2014 and quartermiler, Praise Idamadudu in 2015.
Former Nigerian jumper, hurdler and sprinter, Seigha Porbeni, who is the event coordinator, said yesterday that they had received over 300 entries from athletes who are waiting eagerly for the event to begin.
He stated that Delta State was determined to produce young athletes who will rule the newly introduced National U-15 Youth Sports Festival.The Dr. Awoture Eleyae U-14 and U-15 Athletics Championships is being sponsored by Solid Works Company, a firm belonging to former president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Chief Solomon Ogba.
According to coach Porbeni, about 22 athletics coaches from the various local council areas are involved in the two-day event.Though there will be no cash prizes for the athletes, Porbeni said athletes who excelled would be given certificate of participation.
The competition is in honour of 90-year-old Dr. Eleyae, a former secretary general of the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa, for his contributions to the nation’s athletics. Eleyae is called the doyen of Nigerian sports for his production of various stars, including Sam Igun, David Ejoke, A.K Amun, Emilia Edet, Violet Odogwu-Nwajei and the high-flying Modupe Oshikoya.
This competition was formerly Dr. Awoture Eleyae U-17 championship, but was re-named U-14 and U-15 to enable Delta State has a solid team for the National Youth Festival. The organisers said yesterday that the athletes will compete in all track and field events except the hammer throw.