ISSUES IN SPORTS ON SSI…with Nathaniel Mobolade

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A promise Fulfilled

This is a fulfilling times for Nigerian Athletes who did the Nation proud at various sporting events this year as President Muhammadu Buhari recognises Birmingham Athletes and members of Team Nigeria with national honours and cash rewards of 200 million naira.

President Buhari,who earlier after the successful outing at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham promised through the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare that he will reward the Athletes at a later date,this promise was Fulfilled on Thursday 15th September, 2022 at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja,where he honoured the medal winning Athletes with National honours and a cash gifts.

This is a major departure from the norm of promising and not fulfilling till the Athletes/sportsmen leaves the stage.It is heartwarming to hear President Buhari said his government is committed to rewarding excellence. He commended members of Team Nigeria who showed and ignited the Nigerian spirit of “Never-say-Die- the spirit of victory through great performances at International competitions especially this year 2022.

Describing the Athletes as champions, worthy ambassadors, national heroes and heroines, President Buhari showered praises on them for proudly flying the Nigerian flag in nine sporting events. This singular act is believed will spur all awardee and recipients to greater exploits in future events, with the assurance that their efforts will be rewarded.Thus, “the Labour of our heroes/heroines shall not be in vain”.

It is heartwarming to see efforts of citizens in all fields of endeavour been rewarded,not only in sports.The hour of sporting glory of the Athletes at these various events beamed the world’s radar on Nigeria,which made the exploits project Nigeria’s image positively. With these,it is a pointer for other Athletes/Nigerians that excellence will always be rewarded by the Nation.

It was a sight to behold, seeing the green-white-green national flag hoisted and National anthem recited and the world stood still for Nigeria twelve times,making it to the podium thirty five times…that was massive!.

At the reception, the elated President Buhari called out the names of the gold medalists and other winners with pride,they were led by the world champion in 100m Hurdles Tobiloba Amusan, Ese Brume,Blessing Oborodudu,Oluwafemiayo Folashade etc,while the names were called, the faces of the Athletes was filled with joy,excitement and encouragement to continue putting Nigeria on the world map of sporting events.

It would be recalled that the Federal government through the minister of Sports, Sunday Dare,provided an enabling environment for youths and Athletes to ride to the pinnacle of their sporting careers through the Adopt-An-Athlete initiative which has brought lots of glory to Athletes and the nation. We therefore, call on individuals and corporate organisations who have not keyed in to this initiative to do so as sports now has been reclassified from being a recreational activity to being a business as it is all over the world. Infact, President Buhari also urged individuals and organisations to key into this initiative as he acknowledged the giant strides so far witnessed in sports under the minister of youths and sports, Sunday Dare.

Generally, 2022 has been an outstanding year in the history of Nigerian sports that cannot be forgotten in a hurry. A year where many Federations have surpassed their previous performances and lots of athletics records were broken. A look at the achievements of the year so far ,in Tracks & field-Tobi Amusan in 4 months won Nigeria’s first ever gold medal in world athletic championships in Oregon,USA,she defended her commonwealth Games title she won in 2018 in Gold Coast with a games record in 2022 in Birmingham and Diamond league title in Zurich, Switzerland on September 8,2022.Also, Ese Brume won silver medal in the women’s Long jump at the 2022 world Athletics championship and a gold medal at the commonwealth games in Birmingham; Blessing Oborodudu clinched a silver medal in wrestling since the feat of the Olympic games in1952.

When you talk Para powerlifting,Nigeria is the best in the world, that’s the reason Sunday Dare praised Folashade Oluwafemiayo for keeping with the tradition by winning a gold medal in the women’s Heavyweight category and setting a new world record.

All these achievements will definitely encourage other individuals and corporate organisations to do more as it continues to impact positively on the performance of these athletes who mow fully concentrate on their training without distraction of lack of funds and inadequate facilities.

We commend President Muhammadu Buhari for rewarding these athletes, a testament for reward of hardwork being appreciated. We hope this will continue with subsequent administrations in Nigeria. If this is done Nigerian sportsmen & women will dominate the world.

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