*Your wards can win medals in 2024 Olympics
By Oluwole Francis
Members of staff of the Ruth Ogbeifo-Balofin community sports development project in Offa in Kwara State has been given assurance of a bright future for the implementation of the Basic Olive Opportunity Sports Training (BOOST) programme.
The Director General of the Nigeria Sports Development Fund Inc (NSDFI), Mr Olajide Fashikun gave the assurance when he met with the staffers at the Offa office of the organization on Wednesday.
Fashikun, a former El-Kanemi Warriors FC of Maiduguri player, said, “if we do not produce a new generation of athletes that will be better and bolder than the icons that are behind this project, then, we all have not achieved anything. We need to strive harder, sacrifice more and our results will start to justify why you are the pioneer staffers in the nation.”
The former captain of the nation’s handball team commended the staffers for their perseverance saying, “pioneers anywhere in the world are guinea pigs. We appreciate all you have invested and sacrificed. I am also aware that the chairman of the Board of Trustees, Chief (Dr) Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, repeatedly had felt serious concerns for how much you have individually and collectively invested to make this project a success.”
Speaking on the occasion, the Executive Director (Technical), Chief Mary Onyali said, “with the speed you are going, you will find many of your athletes in the 2024 Olympics and on the podium. The road is always very rough but the fruits of our labour is also going to be sweet and enduring.”
“By next year, you will be entering the league phase. Many of the pains you had endured will start to unfold. Your kids will start to attend both local and international championships. It is the quality of work you had put together that has been our references nationwide.”
She urged the staffers to always look at the future of the children enjoying their expertise now. They can be the best in the world tomorrow and your names cannot be erased again in the sands of time. Keep hope alive in these kids and our destination will be nearer.”
Responding, the Administrative Manager, Mrs Adejoke Bamidele, thanked the local community. Offa people are so wonderful. Once they understand what we are doing, they rally round us. Principals of schools, parents, volunteers. I must also not fail to commend my coaching staff. They are God-sent. They work like they earn millions and I believe God will reward them abundantly.”
Former African and Commonwealth table tennis champion, Coach Kasali Lasisi and Baseball twin African Games silver medallist, Influence Gwede spoke on behalf of the coaches. They stresses a new energy and commitment to take the objectives higher.
The visit will be rounded up with a one-day training programme for volunteers of the project in Offa.