Nedo Pinezić: Family accommodation is the biggest investor in tourism and the biggest business creator

first_imgIn Croatia, we have 100.000 registered households with 600.000 permanent beds. 50% of tourist nights of the Republic of Croatia are realized in this capacity. 300.000 people, hosts and family members are directly involved in the activity. Immediately another 200.000 micro entrepreneurs and craftsmen, from plumbers to computer scientists. In the age of social distance, we will have “contactless tourism” in which digital technology will be a complete intermediary between the guest and the provider of all services in tourism and hospitality. We will have real, experiential tourism only when effective drugs and vaccines against Covid 19 infection are put on the market. Only then will the measures of social distance be abolished and organized traffic by planes, buses and cruise ships be initiated. We also need to start changing the non-import economic model, which will stimulate the combination of agriculture and tourism, manufacturing and tourism. Shortness of breath measures Bearing in mind that 50% of the host population are pensioners with pensions up to HRK 2.000,00, the lack of income from tourism will hardly affect these households. 30% of “renters” also have a company or trade related to tourism Due to all the above, it is required to write off all fiscal and parafiscal debts while there are no business opportunities. Also, the possibility of an interest-free moratorium on credit obligations for at least 12 to 14 months with all commercial banks is requested. In addition, the hosts are asking to be provided with interest-free borrowing from the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development for micro loans of up to EUR 15.000,00 for the purpose of maintaining current liquidity for one year. These funds would cover the cost of living because there will be no necessary income from tourism. It is expected that 20-30% of last year’s tourist traffic will be realized Annually, this accommodation invests 100 million euros in current maintenance of facilities and another 100 million euros in new facilities. In total, family accommodation is the largest investor in tourism and the largest business creator. The total revenue generated based on this accommodation is about 3 billion euros per year. Accommodation alone accounts for up to 30% of total passenger consumption. Reservations for the fourth, fifth and partially sixth months are currently canceled. There are still a few layoffs for the seventh and eighth and ninth months. However, for the first six months, there is certainly no traffic. The first measures of the Government of the Republic of Croatia were timely and effective. The first tourist traffic expected this season will be mostly domestic tourists, and tourists from neighboring Slovenia to rural areas of the coast (smaller towns) and hinterland, and the accommodation that will be sought first will be apartments, (especially with a separate entrance and private terrace ), holiday homes, mobile homes in campsites and to a lesser extent boats with sleeping cabins. The situation could be improved if there are no incidents in July and August, subject to the opening of borders in EU countries from which most foreign guests come. Given that HBOR’s credit line already exists for hosts to raise the quality of accommodation with a maximum amount of up to 50.000 euros, it is believed that the conversion of this line can enable people to borrow. These are all survival measures. All these requests were communicated to the Government of the Republic of Croatia through the Voice of Entrepreneurs association. The hosts who have crafts and companies in tourism are also in big trouble, and they earn other income from accommodation services in the household. There are 30% of them. One part of the hosts are engaged in free professions, such as tourist guides or have seasonal trades, but they have not yet come to the rescue. In particular, the Ministry of Tourism reduced the flat-rate tourist tax by 50%, abolished the tax on extra beds and postponed the obligation to recategorize accommodation. For the first time, the Croatian National Tourist Board initiated informing the hosts about all measures through the “e visitor” platform. As far as income tax is concerned, the postponement of the first installment due on 31 March has been made possible, and the second installment due on 3 June has been forgiven. Write-off, not postponement Recovery will take years We are the biggest investors and employers Recovery measures will have to be taken in the direction of lower benefits and relaxation of business conditions because all debts that have been postponed, or new ones that had to happen, will be collected by the recovery of tourism in 2021. This means that for at least the next three years, work will be done only to repay the accumulated deferred liabilities. Author: Nedo Pinezić, / Photo: Pexels.comlast_img read more

EIOPA promises ‘simplified’ stress tests for European pension funds

first_imgGabriel Bernardino, chairman at the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), has confirmed there will be “simplifications” to the stress tests for pension funds that last year included as many as 18 different scenarios.Speaking at the Handelsblatt occupational pension conference in Berlin, Bernardino said there would only be two “baseline scenarios”.He also said EIOPA wanted to ensure more small and medium-sized enterprises took part in the stress tests and specifically called on German stakeholders to participate, as this was “the only way” for the European supervisor “to understand the specifics of German pensions and to get an idea of the system”.EIOPA’s chairman confirmed that the tests would be held between May and July and be followed by an assessment of the responses. He said he expected a final report to be published by year-end so that EIOPA could then advise the European Commission on any further steps in Q1 2016.Bernardino said the stress tests would cover both defined contribution and defined benefit plans, “looking at the effects on different age groups within a pension plan” and testing the resilience of pension systems to “a number of shocks”, including the low-interest-rate environment and longevity.He promised that any concept to assess sustainability in the pensions system, such as some form of the holistic balance sheet (HBS) approach, would be implemented in a “proportionate way” and take “specifics of individual pensions systems” into account.For Germany, he highlighted the issues of pension sponsor support and the role of the pension protection fund.He reiterated he “never said Solvency II should be applied to pensions” but stressed that “we want to provide the supervisory community with a framework to analyse the sustainability of the system”.Bernardino pointed out that, “if pension promises are assessed to be unsustainable, then local supervisors should get the power to interfere”.But he added that “this will never be a one-size-fits all approach”.However, he said he was convinced there would be “no cross-border pension arrangement without a more standardised approach to supervision on a European level”.And while it should “not be harmonised on all levels”, there should be a more standardised approach to assessing sustainability and funding.He also pointed to two areas where pension systems across Europe could do with improvement, namely transparency on costs and the particulars of risk-sharing.“Increasing transparency on risk bearing would create more realistic expectations and help members better calculate for their future,” he said.With respect to costs, Bernardino said the level of knowledge in the pensions sector was “rather diminished”.“In many cases,” he added, “not even trustees or the management of pension funds know about all the charges and costs in the plans.”last_img read more

Sold On Gold Coast: Where to find the best bargain buys in the north

first_imgAn artist’s impression of The Bim’bimba Park project which is nearing completion in the booming suburb of Pimpama.Pimpama is one of the Gold Coast’s, even Australia’s, fastest growing suburbs and the booming area is benefiting from developers splurging on new infrastructure. The area was once farmland but is now full of new houses and communities. The northern suburb is a popular spot with families and young buyers looking to break into the Gold Coast market. Gainsborough Greens sits in the heart of the suburb and is a masterplanned community by Mirvac. A $7.5 million park with an impressive playground, events amphitheatre and sport facilities will open this year. The 5ha Bim’bimba Park will feature a basketball half-court, skate ramps, table tennis, barbecue and picnic areas as well as a 15m play tower with climbing nets and slides. QM Properties also invested $3 million to construct a new bridge to boost connectivity in Pimpama, as the developer’s Pacific Cove estate continues to expand. The 60m bridge was a gateway between the estate and local schools and shopping centres, including Pimpama Junction and Westfield Coomera. “Pacific Cove is proving popular with first-home buyers looking for an affordable entry to the property market, with recent releases of lots priced from just $230,000,” QM Properties general sales manager Damien Ross said. Pimpama has a $470,000 median house price, which has grown by 17.8 per cent in the past five years, according to CoreLogic. Despite the market downturn that impacted most of the country, the suburb notched 2.2 per cent growth in the three months to April. The area’s median unit price also had steady growth in the past five years, jumping by 15.1 per cent to $402,900. There had been 230 house sales and just 29 units have changed hands in the past 12 months. MORE NEWS: Live like a titan MORE NEWS: Are these Australia’s cheapest blocks of land? Labrador is one of the more affordable suburbs in the Gold Coast’s north.It is being hailed at the next Southport and its colours are only just starting to truly show. Old homes are being renovated to rejuvenate Labrador and it’s benefiting from a boom in apartment development. The $145 million investment to redevelop the Southport Spit is also set to benefit the suburb. Ray White Labrador owner and principal Darren Davey said the suburb was going through gentrification. “Looking to the future, it’s probably going to be one of the go-to suburbs of the Gold Coast,” he said. “There’s lots of development and lots of people buying up older homes and renovating them into their dream home.“There’s been a lot of 10-storey unit development in the area and it’s earmarked for another More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa10 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day agofive developments over the next 12 months. “Lots of cranes in the sky means the area is going well.” Mr Davey said white-collar workers and tradies were house hunting in the suburb thanks to its affordability and amenities, including access to the freeway. “It’s growing in stature for white-collar workers who have access to everything, including the beautiful Broadwater,” he said. “It’s a gem in the rough at the moment and will increase in value over the next two to three years.“It’s very understated.” The Broadwater Parklands, Griffith University and the Gold Coast University Hospital are all close by. “Labrador stands to be what Southport has been over the last few years,” Mr Davey said. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:38Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:38 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen5 tips for first home buyers01:39 Median house price: $441,250Median house rent: $440/weekMedian unit price: $350,000Median unit rent: $385/weekAverage days on market: 55 Average hold period: 11 yearsPopulation: 18,261Average weekly household income: $1012 Median age: 41 3. PIMPAMA Looking for find an affordable house in the Gold Coast’s north? Here are three suburbs to be looking at.HOUSE hunters looking to bag themselves a bargain in the northern Gold Coast are in luck, with three suburbs median house prices coming in well below the city’s overall median price of $655,000. Willow Vale, Labrador and Pimpama were the three cheapest areas for the north as featured in the Bulletin’s Sold On Gold Coast — the Glitter Strip’s ultimate property guide. Take a look to see what make these suburbs a standout for more than just their affordability factor. Willow Vale’s luxury retreat Ruffles Lodge and Spa.Willow Vale is one of the Gold Coast’s cheapest suburb to buy a house with a median of just $435,000.The median house price is almost $200,000 less than the Gold Coast’s overall median of $630,000. Sitting behind Springbrook, with a median house price of $405,000, Willow Vale is the city’s second most affordable suburb, attracting househunters looking for a bargain. The northern rural suburb was formally part of Pimpama and offers a great middle point between the Gold Coast and Brisbane. It is bordered by Pimpama, Upper Coomera, Wongawallan and Kingsholme. The sleepy suburb is in the foothills of Tamborine Mountain and is home to the luxury five-star forest retreat — Ruffles Lodge and Spa. Prices start at $229 per night for a studio-style unit, up to $859 per night for a two-bedroom villa. The accommodation, spa, restaurant and wedding venue is set among 20ha of gardens, parkland, bush and forest — natural surroundings that characterise the whole suburb. Those looking to settle down in Willow Vale will enjoy the country lifestyle while maintaining a suburban location. The area is home to acreage properties ensuring there’s plenty of space for families who are wanting to raise their kids in a rural location, without being too far from city conveniences. The Gold Coast is about a 30-minute drive from the suburb. The area’s median house price has dropped significantly in the past 12 months from $915,000, providing buyers an opportune time to break into the area. Median house price: $470,000 Median house rent: $440/weekMedian unit price: $402,900Median unit rent: $375/weekAverage days on market: 99 daysAverage hold period: 5 yearsPopulation: 9396Average weekly household income: $1596Median age: 27 1. WILLOW VALE Median house price: $435,000Median house rent: $425/weekMedian unit price: NAMedian unit rent: $360/weekAverage days on market: 61 Average hold period: 8.5 yearsPopulation: 2096 Average weekly household income: $1872 Median age: 30 2. LABRADOR Source: CoreLogic data to April 2019last_img read more

Comment: Why polyamorous marriages are the next step to equality

first_imgPinkNews 4 May 2015Polyamorous activist and writer Redfern Jon Barrett writes for PinkNews on the need for legal recognition of relationships including three or more people.In March I submitted the following question to Green Party leader Natalie Bennett for the Pink News Q&A:“At present those in a ‘trio’ (a three-way relationship) are denied marriage equality, and as a result face a considerable amount of legal discrimination. As someone living with his two boyfriends in a stable long-term relationship, I would like to know what your stance is on polyamory rights. Is there room for Green support on group civil partnerships or marriages?”Bennett’s response this weekend that she is ‘open’ to discussion on the topic has since made national news, with the BBC, Independent, Buzzfeed, Telegraph, and even the Daily Mail picking up on the story. It has been met by both sympathy and outrage: as I write this a Metro poll shows public support for polyamorous unions to be at 42%, the Mirror at 52%, whereas fundamentalist Christians have (predictably) announced it as a sign of the end times. Regardless of the response, it is the first time the prospect of legal polyamorous unions has been discussed by leading politicians and the mainstream press.As a polyamorous activist and author, it’s an issue I’m very familiar with, and for me and my family, it’s one which affects many aspects of our lives. Our trio is happy and stable, but lacking basic legal protections the home we have built together could easily come under threat—unconventional families face discrimination in employment, services, and housing. If one of the men I love and have built my life with were to fall ill, I would have no right to visit him in hospital.At the centre of the issue lies a fundamental inequality: monogamous relationships have legal rights and protections whilst nonmonogamous ones do not. Yet we have the opportunity for a straightforward solution: why not take the now-defunct concept of civil partnerships, and open them to polyamorous households? Each registered family would receive the same partnership rights as any other form of union, and be subject to the same obligations. Most importantly, it would provide legal recognition and protection to the increasing number of alternative households in Britain today.For many this seems like a radical concept, and perhaps unsurprisingly, many of the arguments against it closely mirror those against same-sex relationships in general: that we’re unnatural, that our relationships are unstable and unhealthy (of course leading to incest and bestiality), even that our love will invoke the wrath of a furious God. Simply replace ‘same-sex’ with ‘polyamorous’, and the whole debate looks painfully familiar.In fact, LGBT communities have a long history of polyamory—one dating all the way back to Lord Byron and the Shelleys, continuing through to Harvey Milk and the Radical Faeries. A 2006 study showed that 28% of lesbians, a third of bisexuals, and almost two thirds of gay men are open to nonmonogamous relationships. As any polyamorous bond will automatically involve at least two men or two women, all feature some form of same-sex relationship. Polyamorous families are queer families.At the same time, the arguments in favour of marriage for same-sex couples also apply to trios. Parents should not face losing custody of their children because they’re in a nonmonogamous relationship. Families shouldn’t risk losing their home because inheritance rights favour ‘traditional’ couples. No-one should suffer being barred from their partner’s funeral because their love isn’t recognised.All loving, adult relationships are valid. As has often been argued during the long struggle for marriage rights, none of us choose whom we fall in love with. Our only choice lies in whether we stand up to discrimination, or ignore it. Gay or straight, lesbian or bi, monogamous or polyamorous, all of us deserve to live and love equally to one another. All of us deserve recognition under the law.Yes, this will be a battle, but we’ve battled before. Yes, it seems a long way away, but twenty years ago the prospect of two husbands or two wives legally wedding one another seemed equally remote. Each new generation grows more open-minded, tolerant, and accepting than the one before, and I believe that we are sympathetic and capable enough to provide the legal protections polyamorous families need.Right now we have a historic opportunity to ensure that equality is for all of us. Love is love, regardless of how many share it. A family is a family, whether it has two members or five. In the end, monogamous or not, all LGBT people deserve equal rights—and if the past decades have proved nothing else, it’s that we are very good at fighting for them.last_img read more

Dr Peter Saunders discusses the morality of assisted suicide

first_imgGill Pharaoh’s decision to attend suicide clinic defendedBBC News 3 August 2015Gill Pharaoh, 75, was apparently healthy when she made the decision to go to the Lifecircle clinic in Basel.Campaigners against assisted dying have described the case as “chilling”.But her partner John Southall told the BBC: “Choosing the time you die is a human right.”Ms Pharaoh wrote in a blog published by the Sunday Times: “I feel my life is complete and I am ready to die.”She said while she was largely healthy, an attack of shingles five years ago and tinnitus had made it difficult to take part in the activities she had once enjoyed.She wrote: “I am not just whinging. Neither am I depressed. Day by day I am enjoying my life.“I simply do not want to follow this natural deterioration through to the last stage when I may be requiring a lot of help.”‘Deeply troubling’Care Not Killing, a group which campaigns against assisted dying, condemned Ms Pharaoh’s case as “deeply troubling”.A spokesman said: “It sends out a chilling message about how society values and looks after elderly people in the UK.“It seeks the introduction of death on demand for those who fear becoming a burden, even if they are otherwise fit and healthy.” read more

West Indies aiming to end CWC on a high

first_imgCMC – DESPITE having already been eliminated from the knockout stage of the 2019 ICC World Cup, West Indies head coach Floyd Reifer says they will be going all out to defeat Sri Lanka when they face off on Monday.The Windies have won just one match – against Pakistan – and currently sit in ninth position with just three points from their seven games.However, Reifer said the regional side wanted to establish a winning culture, which meant they would be looking to win their two remaining games.“Yes, we are out of the World Cup, but there is still a lot of cricket to play after the World Cup. It’s important for us to, you know, find the winning ways and find the winning formula going forward, so it is important for us to play this game as hard as possible.“We want to create that winning culture. It has to start from somewhere, so we’re going to approach every game in a professional manner. The guys are still up for it. We’re good to go,” Reifer said.“We had a long conversation in the dressing room, so we did a lot of soul-searching. It is important for us and important for the fans in the Caribbean as well, for us to put up the performances, even at the back end of the World Cup.”With Sri Lanka also eliminated following England’s victory over India on Sunday, Reifer said that made little difference to the West Indies.He said the regional team still had a lot to play for.“Our mindset is to win. Obviously, there is a process to winning by playing. You have to bat, bowl and field well. You have to make sure you are on top of your game in all three departments. So, like I said, if the persons are playing a professional game, a game with intent, it is important for us to win, you know.“Like I said at the start, winning ways. We have got to create that winning culture and it can start from here now. We had some good games in the World Cup, but we just need to get the one percenters right. Once we get the one percenters right, then you will see we will get the results,” Reifer said.last_img read more

Vince Carter retires from basketball after record 22 NBA seasons

first_imgVINCE Carter has retired from basketball at the age of 43 after a record 22 seasons in the NBA.Carter, who spent the last two years with the Atlanta Hawks, played his last game on 11 March before the season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.The Olympic gold medallist was the first NBA player to play in four decades, having made his debut in 1998 with the Toronto Raptors.“I’m officially done playing basketball professionally,” said Carter.The Hawks were not one of the 22 teams to qualify for the NBA restart which will be played at Florida’s Disney World Resort from 31 July.Carter said making his last shot, a three-pointer in a 136-131 loss to the New York Knicks, helped his decision to retire.Speaking on the Winging It podcast, he said: “I think if I didn’t make my last shot, it’d have been a little different. I’d have been itching to, at least get back and just play one minute and just make one shot.”He added: “I’m not going to say since March 11 [I knew I was going to retire], I’m not going to say since that day, but pretty close.“With the coronavirus, it was taking people’s lives rapidly -that’s the big picture in my mind. I was able to put the weird ending, the abrupt stoppage of play to an ending, aside for the bigger picture.”Carter played for eight teams during his career but is best remembered for his time with the Raptors where he earned the nickname “Air Canada” for his slam dunking skills.He was named rookie of the year in his debut season and was an eight-time NBA All Star (BBC Sport).last_img read more

Viterbi hosted MESA Day Science Competition

first_imgMore than 600 middle and high school students who have been recruited into the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program from several Los Angeles area schools competed for the annual USC MESA Day Science Competition, hosted by the Viterbi School of Engineering on Saturday.MESA was founded as a pre-college program by Viterbi in the 1970s to help educationally disadvantaged students in the greater Los Angeles area succeed in school by participating in hands-on learning programs and interactive competitions. As one of the primary founders of MESA, Viterbi hopes to interest students in science and math-related subjects and encourage them to pursue STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — when they graduate from high school.The program targets specific high schools within 5 to 10 miles of the University Park campus. School participants include Alhambra High School, Belmont High School, Foshay Learning Center, Palisades Charter High School and South East High School. The majority of graduates from the MESA program have gone on to pursue science-related majors such as engineering and biology in college. Currently, it is estimated that there are a total of 1,200 high school students and 125 middle school students who participate in MESA.Ben Louie, director of the MESA program and other Viterbi pre-college programs, emphasized that the objective of MESA is to help youth discover an interest in science, especially engineering.“The goals of MESA Day is to excite students in science, technology, engineering, and math and to provide an opportunity for students to apply what they’ve learned in their classes in terms of concepts to real-world applications,” Louie said. “We make science fun, and we make math fun.”During the MESA Day science preliminaries, students had the opportunity to compete in competitions that required them to use real-world applications in mathematics, science and engineering. All of the contest judgment criteria were aligned to California State Content Standards. Categories ranged from creating flying balsawood gliders and sliding mousetrap cars to modeling the human heart and the gastrointestinal tract.The highlight of the MESA Day Preliminaries was the “Prosthetic Arm Challenge,” which incorporated concepts of life science and engineering. This contest challenged students to design, test and build a prosthetic arm that could pick up a beanbag and toss it into target zone. The arm had to be able to move different objects on a table into a crate.Several contests during the preliminaries were hosted in various areas on campus including the Engineering Quad, Seeley G. Mudd Hall, Olin Hall of Engineering, Ronald Tutor Hall, Stauffer Science Lecture Hall, Salvatori Computer Science Center and Mudd Hall of Philosophy.Members from different Viterbi organizations, including Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and Society of Women Engineers (SWE), volunteered to judge competitions and guide the competing teams.Leilani Rebolledo, community outreach and membership chair for SPE, said that her organization supports the event because MESA motivates and prepares local Los Angeles middle and high school students to pursue a higher degree of education in the STEM fields.Rebolledo expressed her enthusiasm in making MESA Day a success. “[We] have expressed excitement to be able to positively influence and guide young students to discover the opportunities within the STEM fields,” Rebolledo said.Many other organizations at USC also support MESA programs and events throughout the year.“SPE has hosted interactive workshops on the Oil and Gas Industry for College Day, has held a panel of SPE members informing and inspiring students to pursue a higher degree of education, as well as aided with the MESA Engineering Symposium where SPE members mentored teams of middle school students on fun hands-on science activities,” Rebolledo said.Panda Express is the sole sponsor of this year’s competition. Panda Express and its Panda Cares charity program has partnered with USC MESA for 15 years to promote the spirit of caring and giving. For MESA Day, Panda Express provided 25 employees from its company to judge the different competitions as well as lunch for all the attendees.“Panda Express does this every single year and we’re grateful to have them as a partner; and without them we wouldn’t be able to bring in 700 high school kids and then feed them and run all of these different competitions,” Louie said.High school students who won the preliminary rounds of MESA Day “Prosthetic Arm Challenge” will be moving on to the Senior MESA Day regional completion, which will also be hosted on the USC campus on April 25. The subsequent national competition will be held in Utah.last_img read more

2019 Okpekpe 10km Road Race Gets Obaseki Boost

first_imgThe seventh edition of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Silver label Okpekpe international 10km road race which holds on May 25 received a boost from the host state governor,Obaseki during the recent National Council of Sports meeting in Benin,capital of Edo state.At the meeting,Governor Obaseki told the gathering which had the Sports Minister,Barrister Solomon Dalung in attendance as well as the directors of Sports from the 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory that this year’s race will serve to benchmark subsequent editions.Obaseki,who has been a strong supporter of the first road race in Nigeria and West Africa to get an IAAF label rating since its inception in 2013 also used the opportunity to invite the Sports Minister to this year’s race which holds on Saturday May 25 in Okpekpe,a rusty town in Etsako East local government of Edo state. ‘I am using this opportunity to invite the Honourable Sports Minister as well as the whole world to world class road race holding on May 25 in Okpekpe town here in Edo state,’said Obaseki while extolling Barrister Dalung for reviving the National Sports Festival.“For whatever you did or did not do, history will be fair to you for rescuing the National Sports Festival.Today you have spoken about retirement and the imminent dissolution of the National Executive Council, but before you go, permit me to invite you to come and race with me at the Okpekpe Road Race.’In his response,the Sports Minister promised to be present at the only IAAF Silver label road race that will be run in West Africa this year.”I will always be part of the Okpekpe Road Race whether I am in office or not.It is a well organized event that has helped to elevate and dignify the organizational prowess of Nigeria,”said Dalung.The Okpekpe international 10km road race is one of the races across the globe the IAAF has designated as one of the “leading road races around the world.”The classification was first introduced for the 2008 running season, upon the suggestion of the IAAF Road Running Commission.The Okpekpe race was accorded a bronze label status in 2015 and last year,after meeting the stringent criteria listed for a would-be silver label race which also included the required number of the international elite field,the race was elevated to a silver label status which is also the first in Nigeria nay West Africa.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more