Emmanuel Chuwang, an amateur cyclist in Jos, on Saturday emerged winner of a cycling awareness competition sponsored by NASCO Group Nigeria Ltd.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Chuwang ran 9.6 kilometers in 14 minutes to emerge top of the competition which took off from Old Airport Junction, Jos and terminated at New Zaria Road Stadium.
Chuwang, who spoke with NAN at the end of the event, appreciated NASCO Group for the sponsorship, and dedicated his victory to God.
He said: “God is the giver of strength of mind and body; I dedicate this victory to him.”
Victor Lapang, Plateau Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, in a brief speech, said that the state government was passionate about promoting sports because it was crucial to peace, progress and development.
Lapang, who was happy with the turnout of cyclists for the awareness competition, said that government was ready to support all sports “and not just football”.
He said: “We are going to look into hockey, basketball, cycling and many other sports.
“Cycling has been known as a major form of exercise; I am really delighted to see the kind of people who have come out because they constitute of both the old and the young.
“For the young ones, you can aspire to take it as a profession and work hard for a better future ahead.
“For the old ones, we cannot over emphasize the issue of body fitness. If you keep doing this, you can live a longer life.”
The commissioner commended NASCO group of companies for proving to be pacesetters by sponsorship the programme, and urged other multinational corporations in the state to emulate that.
Lapang also lauded Plateau Amateur Cycling Association, for partnering with NASCO to ensure the success of the competition.
Earlier, PACA Chairman, James Amidu, had maintained that the exercise was to create awareness to the populace on cycling as a popular sporting activity.
Amidu said that cycling could enhance one’s health and also create employment opportunities for the youth.
Haroun Audu, NASCO Group’s Marketing Communication Advisor, said that the cycling awareness campaign was aimed at reviving and strengthening public interest and participation in cycling.
Audu regretted that cycling, which was good for health and recreational purposes as well as the promotion of peace and tourism, had not been given the desired attention and support.
He said: “This effort by NASCO Group signals a deliberate intervention to support committed amateur cyclists in Plateau.”