Olojo Festival Chess Championship: Event Promotes Local Tourism Through Global Sport, Says RRCC CEO, Awope

Olojo Festival Chess Championship: Event Promotes Local Tourism Through Global Sport, Says RRCC CEO, Awope

Kayode Olawuni, Ile-Ife

The founder and CEO of  Raia Rooks Chess Club, Ile-Ife, Hon. Adebisi Awope has said that the firm's annual Olojo Festival World Chess Championship is geard towards promoting local culture and tourism.

Hon. Awope disclosed this in a chat with ICB at the Club's auditorium situated at Parakin area of the city on Friday as the company prepares for the 2023 5th edition of the event.

He noted that the tournament has since inception five years ago contributed immensely to the tourism advancement of the ancient city in particular and Osun State in general by leveraging the global game of chess to attract tons of visitors annually to partake in the popular celebration of Olojo.

"Olojo Festival World Chess Championship formerly Olojo Festival Rapid Chess Tournament has since it took off five years ago been yielding desired positive results in terms of promoting local sports, culture and tourism.

"At RRCC, we believe that the role of sports and sporting activities in the tourism development of any given community or nation can not be overemphasized and this has formed the basis for this synergy", Awope said.

On the branding of this year's tournament as a World Championship, Hon. Awope noted that the move was to officially attach the deserved global perspective to the event just as the previous editions have always been of international FIDE rated standard.

He added that the move is to create more appeal to Chess lovers from around the world as the game is renowned for being an international game of "Kings and Queens".

The 2023 Olojo Festival World Chess Championship, according to him, will hold from Friday 22nd to Saturday 23rd of September, 2023 at the Ife Grand Resorts and Industrial Hub, Ile-Ife.

The Championship, according to him, will feature two categories of both young and old players with an estimated gifts and prizes worth over N1million Naira.

"This year we are doing something differently. We are branding it a World Championship as we expect prominent international chess players and sports tourists to be present.

"This of course is not to forget the fact that our previous editions, beginning with the second edition have always been FIDE rated", he added.

Olojo Festival is a world renowned cultural event celebrated annually in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, Osun State, Southwest Nigeria.

The festival celebrates the day of the first dawn which in Yoruba means "Ojo ti Ojo di Ojo", an event believed to had take place in the city also held as the cradle and the source of mankind.

Olojo is a remarkably significant cultural celebration to the people of Ile-Ife in particular and Yoruba race in general as it marks a homecoming and unification of the entire sons and daughters of oduduwa worldwide.

Register for 2023 OFWCC here

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