*Para-Shooting seminar attracts AA+ guests
By Oluwole Francis
It was a marvelous debut for the sport of para-shooting in Nigeria when the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Disability Matters, Dr Samuel Ankeli, in his oratory prowess, gave assurance to the nation about the massive plans of the administration to the athletes who represented the nation at the Rio Paralympic Games.
Ankeli who was the Special Guest took centre stage at the event attended by 28 states of the federation at the Velodrome of the National Stadium in Abuja where charged them, “my office has already concluded and will soon launch off the Nigeria Para-Sports Development Fund, a completely private sector initiative to institutionalize the funding and management of para-sports in the country.
Let the whole world stand and value-judge you but you need an extra will, commitment and determination to force them to drop their jaws and marvel. I want us to go to the next Summer Olympics in Tokyo with the kind of determination never seen or known in this nation and do the extra ordinary.
By our plans, we should start about five different leagues well funded by February 2018. You will earn your own income and even become employers of people. People with disability (PWD) will be so distinguished by the time this fund takes centre stage. It would be driven with the force of my office.
The former black belt in judo and red belt in taekwondo challenged the promoters of para-shooting saying, “you are coming at a time when the fortunes of sports will be driven with a business mien, I expect nothing less than 10 gold medals from you in Tokyo.
Barrister Yusuf Iyodo the President of the Nigeria Para-Shooting Federation said, “in the quest to make our country more respected in the comity of nations, we had to scout for new avenues to make more medals for the nation at the Paralympics. We are not inventing the wheel but we are pushing new frontiers of engagements for PWD.”
Iyodo singled out the National Technical Director, General Lonsdale Adeoye and his Secretary General, Irene Patrick-Ogbogu for praises. These are the real secret of where we are today and I can assure the nation that we shall make you real proud as today, we have started the history of great things to come our ways.
President of the Paralympic Committee of Nigeria, Monday Emoghavwe (MON) in his own remarks reminded the athletes, “it is the greatest quality of sacrifice, hardwork, training and more training that will mark you out for excellence. We are ready to give you all that it requires you to be a success. This is a sport where an individual can win as much as five medals. That makes you so strategic.
Dr (Mrs) Toyin Aluko, who represented the Ministry of Youths and Sports Development admonished the members of the federation that, “you can only come into the space to make your sport the king. Already, the nation has a record of excellence in the few sports we have found ourselves. It is this excellence you must extend. We are your trusted partners in this mission.
The former national team handball player added that, “ever since the Paralympics has started, PWD has always been a shining example of industry, perseverance and endurance. The story of your successes will always marvel those who listen and know the real investment of faith you always put into your endeavours. This is also the same kind of investment we expect from you now that there is a fund to support you as of right.”
Former Zamalek SC of Egypt’s handball player and the General Manager of the Nigeria Sports Development Fund Inc. (NSDFI), Mr Olajide Fashikun delivered a paper titled, “psycho-social management of PWD in sports in Nigeria.”
He told the audience, “you have only one enemy and that is you. When the world defines you, don’t accept their definition. Ask yourself, what is the purpose of my life and living. Redefine yourself. Stand by yourself. Nurture your dreams with manure, protect your vision with grim determination. Nobody who invests does not take dividends.”
“Governments anywhere in the world are the biggest institutions with disabilities. Many of us will always wait for government to do everything for us including food, house and marry for us. Why can’t you ask yourself, what can I do to make a difference. It is this extra that marks out the ordinary being from the super stars. Education makes you a star. Talent makes you super. When you combine your education and your talent, that is what makes you a super star.”
Speaking to www.gongnews.net at the event, Miss Anne Ojugof the Unique Love for PWD initiative in Ekpoma, Edo State, said, “I must confess that for years I have never been this charged. I personally want to thank President Buhari for picking a PWD as his aide. He understands and speaks our language. I also pray that God will energise him to be able to deliver the fund. Today is one of my happiest days. It gives me a new stream of hope.”
General E. O. Ayo-Vaughan (Rtd), Prince Desmond Ononuju the Commandant General of the Atmosphere of Love Chaplaincy, were some of the AA+ rated guests who made the event.