Offiah to crown Rugby League's fastest man

Former Rugby League speed superstar Martin Offiah has been announced as the guest of honour for the 2009 Rugby League’s Fastest Man competition.

Offiah will present the trophy to the winner of the sprint event, which is being staged at Headingley Carnegie Stadium, prior to the Carnegie Floodlit Nines final on Wednesday 26 August.

Commenting on the event Offiah, who has taken part in similar events in both England and Australia said: “Speed plays such an important part in the modern game in both attack and defence. Finding the fastest man in the game is a great idea and a wonderful accolade for a player to carry, though I will add with great accolades comes great responsibility’.”

Martin is a also a big fan of the nines format: “I am really looking forward to watching the 9s on the evening, early in my career I played for Widnes in a 9s event at Central Park and thoroughly enjoyed it”

Players from eight engage super league clubs will take part in the sprint alongside entrants from Jamaica, the Army and Co-operative Championship teams. And Offiah believes that there is every chance the winner may come from outside the top flight: “There are some great names from the engage super league, Donald, Penny, Roberts and Halley amongst them, but they will be pushed all the way by the likes of Nixon [Barrow] and Calvert [Whitehaven] who have scored some breathtaking tries this season.”

Offiah who is now a well known TV celebrity, scored over 500 tries in a glittering Rugby League career spanning 14 years and is seen as the ideal man to present the trophy.

The sprint challenge will see players dressed in full playing kit race 90m along the famous Headingley Carnegie pitch without a ball. The winner will receive a cheque for £1000 and a specially commissioned trophy.