No doubt that the Covid-19 Pandemic has ravaged the entire globe and has changed the way the people of the Earth engage in their activities.
The Sports World has greatly been hit by the pandemic even as stakeholders face the new reality, from postponement of Tokyo 2020 Olympics to football games without fans amid the cancellation of major tournaments.
While some Sports still strive within the pandemic, and with Covid-19 showing no signs of abating and anticipated peak in the coming months , others are relying on technology to advance their course.
Marathons and Road races will be highly affected because it involves the gathering of people . On Thursday , the 2020 Comrades Marathon in South Africa was cancelled , also the only Gold label Marathon in Africa , Cape Town Marathon , which is scheduled to take place on 18 October 2020 has been cancelled but the organisers are introducing a virtual marathon , an inaugural Sanlam Cape Town Virtual Marathon on the same date .
“Road Races has taken a bad hit by the pandemic but Nilayo Sports Management is developing an app for virtual race next year if the Covid-19 persists “ , said Bukola Olopade , the initiator behind Access Bank Lagos City Marathon in an interview with Mudashiru Shittu of TV360 Sports .
“ Ahead of 2021 , we are waiting for the strategy to be deployed by London , but while we are waiting , At Nilayo , we have also developed our own App in preparation for the marathon next year“ .
“What we have done is to develop two strategies , our plan A is to hope and pray that society opens up again and we all are able to go back to do what we like to do best , In which case , we will have a mass race of the average 70,000 to 100,000 participants as usual , but if the protocol does not allow us to do a mass race , our App would be very accommodating for people run a virtual race wherever you are in the world , even in your backyard “ .
Unlike the Cape Town Marathon , which has been cancelled out rightly , and replaced by the Sanlam Cape Town Virtual Marathon , Bukola Olopade said the open race would still take place .
“ That we would not stop us from doing our open race on Feb , 8 , next year , we will only invite top label athletes to be part of it and making it a race for just 20,000 thousand runners , and that would give us an opportunity to be able to create the social distance required “
“For the media , it could be a limited amount of people that would be accredited “
On his venture on E-Sports, Olopade said it would be massive and the purpose is to create wealth for Nigerians.
“We are going forward to do bigger things with E-Sports, we have started doing competitions, we are in talk with a Fintech Industry that wants to invest one million dollars, this just to let Nigerians know how far we have done “.
He further said when the lock down is totally eased there would be gathering of the World of E-Sports in Nigeria between December and March next year with a total Prize money of one million dollars.
“We are very glad and pleased to tell you that starting from mid-July, we are also starting an eight weeks events, every week a participant must win between 100,000 to 200,00 thousand for eight weeks, all E-Sports games will be featured “
Olopade is a two-term Commissioner of Youth and Sports in Ogun State and a Covid-19 Survivor .