Athletics body marshals support for Juba Republican Championship

Athletics body marshals support for Juba Republican Championship
Simon Okeny, Deputy President of the South Sudan Athletics Federation (SSFA) and Chairman of the ARC Organizing Committee. [Alex Bullen, The City Review]

The Deputy President of the South Sudan Athletics Federation (SSFA), Simon Okeny, has urged all sports stakeholders and well-wishers to rally behind the country’s athletes ahead of the Athletics Republican Championship (ARC), slated for November 24–25 in Juba.

Okeny, who also serves as head of the ARC’s high-level committee, stated that the event is one of the most important ones in the country’s sporting calendar and, as such, deserves support.

“Unfortunately, sport in general is not given much attention, particularly by our government. As a result, the federations have faced numerous obstacles simply because sports receive little attention,” he said on Wednesday while giving an update on the ARC’s preparation in Juba.

He urged the government and other well-wishers, particularly the country’s investors, to provide additional assistance, as it has not only promoted togetherness but also boosted trade with other countries.

He revealed that 90 percent of the preparation has been finished, and the balance would have been completed if full help had been granted.

Okeny also reported that most of the local athletic associations have arrived in Juba, with more anticipated later in the day.

Each state is expected to have at least 23 male and female members, as well as three administrative areas.

The Republican Championship event will take place over two days and will feature high jump as well as all athletic games such as 100 metres, 200 metres, 3,000 metres, 4,000 metres, and 10,000 metres.

The SSFA said it will stage a similar event in Torit, Wau Aweil, and Juba next year to prepare participants for the 2024 World Cross-Country Championships in Croatia as well as other international contests.

The Republican Athletics Championship is an annual athletics competition.

The Republican Athletics Championship’s major goal is for players to demonstrate their talents and identify at what level they can compete, allowing them to be picked for national teams across the country.