By Dipo Olowookere
Participants of the 2019 Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Corporate Challenge showed proved their determination to battle the silent-killing health scourge, cancer, by defying the heavy downpour on Saturday morning in Lagos just to be part of the one-day competitive and fun-filled 5 kilometres walk, jog and run event.
This year, NSE worked in close partnership with various sponsors, partners, and volunteers, including Stanbic IBTC, Dangote Cement Plc, Beta Glass Plc, FCMB, MTN Nigeria, FBN Holdings, IHS Towers, Transcorp, Fidelity Bank Plc, UBA, SAHCO and AIICO Plc, CSCS Plc, Seplat, EKEDC and Sterling Bank Plc.
In-kind contributions and media support were received from Emergency Rescue, Lotus Fitness, ATS Travels, Kenya Airways, Sofresh, Blackhouse Media, RecyclePoints, Channels Television, NTA, CNBC Africa, BusinessDay Newspapers, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Television Continental (TVC), Proshare, STV, Enterprise TV, Rhythm FM, and Plus TV.
The 2019 NSE Corporate Challenge featured aerobics dance, games, music, entertainment, and free cancer screening.
At the end of the race, Mr Austin Ani of Stanbic IBTC emerged the overall winner with a completion time of 19.05 minutes, the same feat he achieved in the 2018 edition.
Paul Alabi of Aluko & Oyebode, who was the first runner up in 2018, and Aliyu Lukman of Fidelity Bank Plc were in the second and third positions, finishing the race in 19.27 minutes and 19.50 minutes, respectively.
Also, Adaobi Anikwe of the NSE emerged the fastest female runner, with a completion time of 24.58 minutes, while Rene Gabriel of Nigerian Breweries Plc emerged winner of the Senior Citizen category for runners aged 50 and above, with a race time of 22.30 minutes, same feat he achieved in the 2016 edition.
The runners were joined by top business leaders and outstanding race ambassadors such as Kate Henshaw, Waje, Omololu Shomuyiwa, Tobi Bakare, and DJ Neptune, to mention a few.
Speaking at the event, the CEO of the NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, noted that, “Cancer-related deaths in Nigeria are set to rise if urgent actions are not taken to raise awareness about early detection of the disease and to develop practical strategies to address the increasing burden.
“Such is the idea that inspired the NSE Corporate Challenge in 2014. In its 6th year, the NSE Corporate Challenge has adopted exercise as a vehicle to drive its cancer awareness initiative and further stress the need for regular exercise and overall healthy living as ways to reduce the risk of cancer.”
Continuing, Mr Onyema said, “It is heart-warming to see hundreds of people here today who believe in our journey to a cancer-free society and who do not care about the weather in fighting cancer.
“A lot of people could have rolled over this morning and gone back to bed with the pouring rain, but we all came out because of our passion to eradicate cancer in Nigeria.
“Hours in the rain is nothing compared to people going through chemotherapy. We believe that our message about cancer will create a ripple effect that provokes joint actions toward erasing cancer in Nigeria and have a far-reaching positive impact on the populace especially the less privileged.”
The NSE CEO also lauded the listed companies, non-listed companies, stockbroking community, other corporate organizations, government agencies as well as notable Nigerians and celebrities for their continuous support for the NSE Corporate Challenge since inception.
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