US-Based Nigerian Artiste Brite Benson Vows To Thrill Fans At Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

Since its inception, the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has not just been about running but the very best of entertainment has also been a regular feature.

The 2019 edition will not be any different.

While many are already aware that the duo of D’Banj and Teni will be performing at the finish point of Saturday’s race, another energetic performer based in the United States, Brite Benson a.k.a Local Boy has been added to the list of artists that would thrill the fans.

Benson who is returning to Nigeria after almost 17 years in America said he is in town majorly for the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon and he is eager to unleash what he has for the Lagos fans.

“Yes, I am in Nigeria just for this, I paid my way here to support the Lagos Marathon and to also showcase by talent to Nigerians.” He said.

Brite Benson

An Afro-pop artist, the ‘Local Boy’ as he is fondly called revealed that he has done a couple of songs with both American and African artistes; including the likes of CDQ, Davido and D’Banj.

Lagos fans will have the honour of being the first set of audience in the world to listen to the new single ‘Sokoyokoto’ just released by Local Boy.

OFFICIAL LOGO FOR THE IAAF WORLD RELAYS YOKOHAMA 2019 REVEALED

With 100 days to go until the IAAF World Relays Yokohama 2019, the local organising committee has revealed the official logo for the event.

The colour blue in the logo symbolises the host city Yokohama and its surrounding ocean and seaport, a gateway for visitors from all over the world. The red represents the rising sun.

The LOC has also launched its official social media channels:

Twitter: @IAAFYokohama19
Instagram: @IAAFYokohama19
Facebook: @IAAFYokohama19

The IAAF World Relays Yokohama 2019 will be held on 11-12 May at the International Stadium in Yokohama.

WBSC Launches Expanded Urban Baseball5 Rulebook

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today released new and expanded rules to WBSC Baseball5™, the urban, five-on-five variation of the global sport of baseball and softball.

Following requests from National Federations, organisers, teams, schools and others embracing baseball and softball’s new urban game, the new rulebook comes with an Official WBSC Baseball5 Line-Up Card template.

The new WBSC Baseball5 Rulebook also introduces clarifications to keep the new urban game evolving and fast-paced:

Basic governance principles
New dimensions for the sideline’s fences
Clarifications on illegal hitting and outs
Specifications for mixed-gender teams
Regulations on substitutions
Particular game situations
Ball technical specifications
Official WBSC Line-Up Card

“Baseball5, which only requires a rubber ball to play, has already been introduced in over 40 countries and across all five Olympic continents since its official launch less than a year ago,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “The second edition of the Baseball5 Rulebook provides the provisions and international architecture for this urban discipline to continue growing at a fast pace while maintaining our standardization objectives. This new rulebook is a major step toward our upcoming Baseball5 World Cup and continental championships, with an eye set towards its inclusion into major multi-sport events”.

World Baseball Softball Confederation, WBSC Baseball5™,

The amendments and expansion of the new WBSC Baseball5 Rulebook follows recommendations from the WBSC Baseball5 Commission and formal approval by the WBSC Executive Board. The result is this newer more complete set of rules that aims to set the new standard for the urban version of baseball and softball, Baseball5.

Additionally, to Baseball5’s rapid growth since its official launch in March 2018, the WBSC Executive Board mandated the Baseball department the development of a comprehensive international competitions structure, World Cups, world rankings and the development of a pool of certified continental instructors.

Download the full rulebook here.

Mega Oil Company To Sponsor Beach Volleyball National Championships In Gambia

For the first time in the history of Beach Volleyball in The Gambia, The National Beach Volleyball Championship will have a title sponsor as FAR limited are set to pump in D200,000 to the event. This is a sign of good things to come from the new GVBF Executive that was elected in December.

It’s been a year of promise for Gambia volleyball. It was a year where young talents finally raised their hands at both national team and club level.

The 2018/2019 National Beach Volleyball Championship organised by The Gambia Volleyball Federation will be funded by FAR limited Gambia. The GVBF announced Tuesday that FAR limited will be splashing D200,000 (two hundred thousand dalasi) on the undergoing national beach volleyball championship.

In West Africa, FAR holds a portfolio of exploration licences in Senegal, The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau.

2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon: Sowore, Alli Task Journalists At Media Seminar

The Media Seminar to herald the 2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon took place on Monday at the Sports Bar of the Teslim Balogun Stadium.

Journalists interested in covering the 2019 race had a fruitful session with the organisers as well as other resource persons present to share their experiences and what is expected from the media practitioners at this weekend’s race.

Omoyele Sowore- Bukola Olopade-Abdul Moyo, Damilola Pedro-Steve Osuji.

Yussuf Alli the General Manager for the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon thanked journalists for all their support since the inception of the Lagos race while he also shared some of the new measures being put in place to allow for another seamless race this year.

“ We are grateful to the journalists for all their good work, but we have introduced some new rules for this year’s race particularly at the start point and the finish.” Skippo as he is fondly referred to revealed.

Alli stated that among other things, the IAAF rules will be strictly followed this year; hence journalists must give the runners at least a two-minute break before they can be granted any sort of interview.

The Access Bank Lagos City Marathon GM also enjoined journalists to contact the Athletes Representatives before race day if they are hoping to get more incisive interviews from the elites coming to participate at this year’s race.

On his part, Hon Bukola Olopade who is the Race Consultant thanked the journalists for always putting the organisers on their toes and helping them get better with each edition.

“ I can assure you that this edition of the race will be much better than the previous one we have had,” he said

For Olopade, it is not a mere coincidence that more people across the world are identifying with the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.

“For this year, we already have over 4,000 that have registered from other countries outside Nigeria; including America, Australia and other parts of the world. Each year, we strive to get better and correct the mistakes we notice, and we are glad of how far we have come” Olopade noted.

Also present at Monday’s seminar was the AAC Presidential candidate Omoyele Sowore who challenged journalists to get fully involved in initiatives like this as it also helps their own fitness.

L-R Debo Oshundun-Rose Eyenike-Yussuf Alli-Omoyele Sowore- Bukola Olopade-Abdul Moyo, Damilola Pedro-Steve Osuji.JPG

Sowore who has participated and finished at least 8 marathons emphasised the need for journalists to be more detailed in their reportage.

Others who spoke at the media seminar were Mr. Steve Osuji, Rose Eyenike and Chairman of the Lagos State Branch of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN Debo Oshundun.

The Brand and Communications Manager Nilayo Sports Management Limited Damilola Pedro and Abdul Imoyo, the Head Media Relations Access Bank were also present at the Seminar where awards were also given to three distinguishing journalists.

NEW EVENT PRESENTATION IDEAS DISCUSSED AT IAAF INNOVATION WORKSHOP

Some of the brightest minds in sports technology gathered in London last week to attend the first IAAF Innovation Workshop, designed to promote creativity and collaboration among the IAAF’s technical partners and suppliers.

The aim is to bring new technology to the World Athletics Series events to enhance the live, broadcast and digital viewing experience for spectators and fans, and better share the stories of the extraordinary athletes and their journeys.

Those attending included official IAAF partner Seiko, which has supplied timing equipment and expertise to the IAAF since 1985; design technology company deltatre; and officiating and broadcast technology provider Hawk-Eye Innovations. IAAF Productions, responsible for providing host broadcast services at the IAAF World Athletics Series events, event presentation equipment supplier Creative Technology and social media agency Fifty Digital also contributed to the dialogue.

Hellen Obiri

All these companies are working on a variety of projects which include: new television camera angles that will take fans even closer to the action, new ways to display competition information (in the stadium, through the broadcast and online) and to highlight the field events happening inside the track. Ultimately, the IAAF believes new technology will enable it to present a clearer field of play, removing visual distractions that might take away from the competition, and providing the best stage for the extraordinary talents of track and field athletes.

Mr Shuntaro Ishii, the President of Seiko Time Systems Inc, described the discussion as “very stimulating” and predicted it would accelerate advances in the presentation of the sport.

Mr Ishii said: “It was a great idea to bring so many experts from many different areas of sports technology together and allow us all to share one another’s experience and ideas for the future. I congratulate the IAAF on this initiative. I think there is now a new synergy among the many companies working with the IAAF to improve the sport and the way it is presented to the world.

“It is very good to see that the IAAF is investing in new technology initiatives in so many areas. We believe that athletics is a great sport that deserves an even bigger audience than it has today and that technology is the way to achieve this. Through innovations in our timing and information display systems, we will do all we can to help the IAAF to bring the excitement of the sport to a wider, younger audience. You will see important advances in this area in Doha.”

Mr Ishii said technology had “a big role” to play in bringing new generations of fans to athletics.

“We have many ideas as to how we can make athletics look more exciting on TV and more interesting to the spectator in the stadium and we look forward to working with the IAAF team in the months and years to come,” he said.

All the attendees were enthusiastic about the value of an interactive approach, saying it would assist the IAAF to remain on the cutting edge of sports presentation.

Hawk-Eye’s Director of SMART Sports, James Barton, said the meeting was “incredibly productive” and demonstrated the IAAF’s “strong desire to develop technological solutions to address the challenges, and opportunities, which are developing across the rapidly changing sports industry”.

© Jean-Pierre Durand

“There was a significant focus on new and innovative methods of opening up athletics to a new audience by informing, educating and engaging a new generation of fans and spectators,” he said.

“I think that technology for broadcast and social media will very quickly be able to open up the sport, providing insights into the techniques and performances of the world’s best athletes, which may previously have been invisible to all but the most expert eyes.”

IAAF Productions’ Executive Producer Mark Fulton added: “The drama of the competition and the emotion that it generates will be showcased by a modern and consistent editorial treatment across all platforms. Both our core and casual fans will benefit from new insights that will give everyone a better understanding of the athletes and the sport.”

The IAAF intends to make the Innovation Workshop an annual event as it drives the modernisation of the sport.

“We have a strong group of highly creative, globally recognised, technology and technical partners, like our long-standing and trusted partner Seiko, and suppliers who love the sport of athletics and want to join us in driving more innovation across the sport,” said IAAF President Sebastian Coe.

“We have spent the last three and a half years strengthening the foundations of this sport and ensuring we have robust and comprehensive governance, clear pathways for men and women to progress equally through the sport and a level playing field for all athletes to compete on with integrity, trust and fairness. We now want to move the dial in the sport presentation and fan experience field as well as looking at new formats and events that will be fun, challenging and inspiring for athletes and fans.”

IAAF

Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Finals Draw Announced

The draw to determine the six groups and quarter-finals of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Finals will be held in the host city of Madrid on 14 February.

The new season-ending competition will take place at “La Caja Mágica”, Madrid, on 18-24 November 2019 with 18 teams competing across six groups of three teams. The winners of each group and the two second placed teams with the best percentage of sets, games and points won, will advance to the knockout phase.

The 18 teams competing for Davis Cup glory will be confirmed this weekend in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Qualifiers, as 24 teams vie to join last year’s semi-finalists Croatia, France, Spain and USA and the two wildcard teams Argentina and Great Britain, in the Finals.

Six teams will be seeded for the Draw. Seeds 1 and 2 will be the finalists of the 2018 Competition and seeds 3-6 will be determined in accordance with the Davis Cup Nations Ranking of Monday 4 February. The seeded nations will be placed into the six groups.

The draw, which will be attended by Kosmos Founder and President Gerard Piqué and ITF President David Haggerty, will be held at Real Casa de Correos, in Madrid, and will be streamed live on http://www.daviscupfinals.com from 7pm (6pm GMT).