Thursday, December 23, 2010

Nigerians Should Expect A Better Bamise In 2011, Says Adegboyega

2007 Deutch University indoor championship gold medalist in Germany and the 2005 IAAF Grand Prix Silver medalist in Congo Brazzaville, Bamise Emmanuel Adegboyega, in this interview spoke on issues relating to himself and Nigeria athletics. Read on…. 

Can we meet you?
My names are Bamise Emmanuel Adegboyega, a Nigerian Cyprus base athlete. I was in Germany before moving to Cyprus and I am on scholarship, studying recreation management in Eastern Medeterean University.
But before becoming a professional athlete, I went through a lot but I will start with my up bringing as I was born on July 1st 1985 into a Christian home in Lagos, I was made to understand that every man has a purpose to fulfill in life as God promises. My late father who was the former General evangelist of The Apostolic Church assisted me to become what I am today, before I became an athlete, I was a footballer playing with Pepsi Academy in Akure and when the then athletics head coach of Ondo State, Lawrence Adegbehingbe saw my speed on the field of play during a match, he told me to come start running because my speed was too much for football, but it was so hard for me to leave football but I left for running which I never regretted at all.

How was it like leaving football for the track and when did you start running?
After I left football for athletics, I started running competitions even when I did not train so well and I always win medals for Ondo state before I went back to Lagos in year 2001 to train with a trainer called Coach Isaac and he introduced me to Akwa Ibom State which I started representing nationally and I also won medals for them in the three years (2002-2005) I spent with them.
I became a professional In year 2005 when I represented the country in Congo Brazzaville during the IAAF grand prix were I came 3rd, and also in Cameroon where I took 2nd but the biggest was the world University Games in Izmir, Turkey 2005 where I and so many of the current national athletes represented Nigeria and it wasn’t a bad outing, though we didn’t win any medal in athletics but we were finalist in 4x100m and we came 6th, it was during this period I started training with former National Head coach, Emilia Edem and I really appreciated her for taking me to the next level but I later joined Tony Osheku group in year 2005 when I came back from the World University Games.
I was injured in 2006 but came back in 2007 and traveled to Germany for the indoor season where I won Deutch University indoor championship representing Nigeria

How do u keep in form?
I keep my form by simple discipline which is hard work and no wrong programme

Now u are in Cyprus, if you have the chance, will you run for them?
I am in Cyprus to continue my studies and am not thinking about running for another country not before or now. As you can see, our athletics is getting up again through the new president, so I will still love to continue running for Nigeria

What is your opinion on athletes taking performance enhancing drugs?
This is a big question but I will respond with a small answer by saying every athlete should take a supplement to replenish what they have lost during training so that there would be room for improvements but taking performance enhancing drug is not the way forward.

How will you rate Nigeria athletics and athletes in 2010?
Nigeria athletics is better than last year while the athletes are doing well and I know we are going to get better.
So far so good, athletics and the athletes did well this year and like the president said, next year will be better.

You where missing at the Africa Championships in Kenya and Commonwealth Games in India, what happened?
Well I did not plan to come to Nigeria at all for the trials because of my studies, that was why I did go.

The athletics season for this year has ended; will you say you achieved what you planned for?
I really thank God for everything that happened to me this year generally, I was able to win all Cyprus University Games and even became 2nd best in the Turkish Universities with a time tied but everything is going to be different in 2011 because I am training like never before.

What can you say about the administration of sports in Nigeria, do you think other sports are getting the desired attention for growth?
You and I know that there’s no sports administration in Nigeria, we only have football administration.

What do you think should be done to take athletics to desired height in Nigeria and the world stage?
A lot has to be done to bring back the lost glory because a lot was done to loosing it, we have to ask ourselves a big question like, why can’t we produce athlete like Deji Aliu and co again? If we have to get to the highest level in athletics then we need a good administration that the interest of the athlete will be the first on their agenda

Who is your role model in Nigeria athletics?
My role model in Nigeria athletics is Deji Aliu

If not athletics, what would you have been into?
I would have been a musician because I sing and play piano

What should Nigerians expect from you in the coming season?
They should be expecting my best and flying the Green White Green high will be my major priority next season.

The Cyprus Athletics federation indoor race comes up in January, how prepared are you?
I am getting ready for it better than how I approached it the last time, though I won it then but I want to make a different mark this time like sending a signal to all my fans that I am back again

With so many championships coming up in 2011, what are your plans breaking into Team Nigeria?
My plans for now is to get my training going because I am training like never before, Francis Obikwelu told me this year after the season ended that if I want to run what I have never ran before, then I should do what I have never done before in training.

Talking about preparations for athletes and coaches, do you think Nigeria is doing enough to prepare them?
I can’t say Yes or No, but in every preparation, it’s only the result that would tell if the person actually prepared well, so I would say we should let the 2011season tell the story.

Advice for upcoming athletes
I will advice them to be discipline, hard working and be educative but above all they should trust in God.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

AFN Rolls Out Code of Conducts for Athletes, Officials

The Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has rolled out a code of conduct and ethics which it says 'all categories of membership within the AFN, as well as all individuals engaged in activities with the federation must comply with.
The code of conduct and ethics, according to Navy Captain Omatseye Nesiama, chairman of the security and discipline committee of the federation who signed the document sent out to several athletics watchers and officials is to ensure a safe and positive environment prevails within AFN activities.
"We want to ensure that individuals are aware that there is an expectation of appropriate behavior, consistent with the values of the AFN, at all times," observed Captain Nesiama.
The AFN says it is committed to providing an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect. The federation warned that Conduct that violates its Code of Conduct and Ethics may be subject to sanctions pursuant to AFN's policies related to discipline and complaints.
Top on the list of unethical behavior the federation will not condone is the use of performance enhancing drugs, sexual harassment and assault as well as falsification of age in all AFN competitions.
The Federation warns athletes to totally abstain from the non-medical use of drugs or the use of performance-enhancing drugs or methods while coaches are also warned not to provide, promote or condone its use. Athletes are also warned to properly represent themselves and not attempt to enter a competition for which they are not eligible, by reason of age, classification or other reasons.
For technical officials, the AFN says they are expected to make independent and objective judgments and above all apply the technical officiating principles in all their dealings.
The federation insists individuals or groups caught condoning any act of indiscipline; or whose athletes are caught cheating by reason of age, classification or other reasons; or involved in the use of performance enhancing drugs and other banned substances shall face the AFN's disciplinary committee and will be properly sanctioned.

Nigerian Athletics Will Improve In 2011-Ogba

Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) President, Chief Solomon Ogba in this interview says Nigerian Athletes will surpass the 2010 achievements next year as he evaluate the activities of the body since attaining leadership of the AFN.

Athletics in 2010
Athletics In 2010 is not too bad compared to what we had previously over the last three years, 2010 is not too bad at all.
It’s a gradual process and we started the train and ensured the project move on very well and that was what we expected and we really got what we planned for.
The high point of 2010 for Nigeria athletics were few flashes, some personal best in the field and also getting back to our area of strength like in the jump.
Getting back there very strongly and even in the sprint, we saw a Nigerian running 11.0 seconds, we have not seen that in 8years now, even a 10 seconds.
We also saw a long jump of over 8meters, we have not seen that for a long time also and even in the 100m, we saw some good timing early in the season.

Purported IAAF Ban
When I saw the news I was disappointed, if you go into the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) website today you will get all the information you want, yet the media published the story that Nigeria has been banned by the IAAF.
They did not take time to check or call yet they reported the story, which is not true.
Like every federation, the IAAF owes us, Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) owes us and we owed some athletes which we have paid.
Everybody owes, the federal government owns us so much money, base on their own approval, you approve for competition, six months the money is not here, one year the money is not here and we must go for the competitions.
We had one or two issue with somebody asking for appearance fee for a championship which don’t have appearance fee so we ask IAAF to go and resolve that.
One thing some of our athletes are doing that is bad is not telling the AFN where they based, this is bad because when the IAAF comes looking for them it is the AFN they come to for such information.

Osayemi Drug Scandal
We lost a medal at the Commonwealth Games in India, yes but the performance and time was not the best, unfortunately something happened that we can’t totally put on her.
We all know very well that stimulant cannot enhance your performance so if you knowingly take it, it can never enhance your performance.
Also, the kind of stimulant saw in her kind be metabolically generated, your body can even do that, so we lost it. We were hoping on Blessing Okagbare but she could not make it to India.
I need to make a distinction between stimulant and steroids, what was found in her was not steroids or performance enhancing and like I said, the kind of stimulant found in her can be metabolically generated by the body system.
So there is not anybody can do about that, it was the same substance that was saw in World and Olympic champion, Ann Fraser, though she is under ban now and it was the same substance that was found in her.
Don’t forget that she also has the same history of tooth ache. That means some of the drugs for tooth ache have this substance.
That was a very sore note but it was unfortunate that it happens that way and if listened to the Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Games, he never blamed her, he almost exonerated her and it took 5 days before the medal was withdrawn from Nigeria.

Attending Championships In 2009-2010
We cant attend championships when the funds are not coming, we were able to attend championships in 2009/2010 due to some scarifies from friends and some members of the board, we hope that next year we will get the funding we need to attend all the championships coming up.
As it is right now, it was very difficult last season.
This year we had the qualifier for the Youth Olympic, we did well and we had the Africa Junior Athletics Championship in Morocco and we had a brilliant outing.
Fortunately, we were able to attend the World Junior Athletics Championship in Moncton Canada and we did very well also.
We also had the privilege of attending the Africa Senior Championships in Kenya where we defeated our arch rival South Africa to take the overall second position, though Kenya took first but I don’t consider them because they were the host.
Ethiopia that was supposed to challenge them in the long distance races fumbled.
Finally, we attended the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India and we went with a small contingent of 15 athletes and of course we did well excluding what happened.
We had 2 gold and 3 silver medals, check the history and you will see what I am saying.

The truth is that sports as a whole has not been given the support it should have and once anything goes wrong, everybody starts crying.
This is because of sponsorship and provision, we are living in a third world country and we don’t have a developed private sector that can run sports the way it is done in the Western world. What we are saying is that government must still provide for sports while sponsorship comes as supplementary.
Now government provision for sports is grossly inadequate because the National Sports Commission have not been given enough money and if they don’t have they cant give anything.
If you look at the budget, sports is not in the front burner, it is like they are doing you a favor but when anything goes wrong everybody starts crying, everybody will speak, even Mr. president.
Now they are doing the budget, go and check how much has been provided for sports, you will be surprised.
Do you know until I came in, no sports federation had a vote? I lead the push for it and now, we have more votes, and this coming year let’s see what we can do.

Coaches Training
Well AFN as a Federation don’t have any employed coaches; we make do with what the states are bringing.  Now we are trying to do something that will engage 6 ex-international athletes that we are going to send to the different zones like Falilat Ogunkoya, Mary Onyali, Gebral Okon, Olusule and Tom Nwakwe.
We are trying to engage this team as consultants, we have discussed it with the National Sports Commission, this was Joe Garba did in the early 70s and we are starting it in 2011.
If you remember when I came in 2009, I said we are going to rebuild the process and now you can see a much improved athletics in Nigeria.
We have used about 20 coaches that came in to assist and we now know those that can take athletes from one level to the next level.
We have some good coaches who understand, but the problem is application. Everybody knows you need to run three trials but how do you as a coach applies it and when? This is scientific.

2011 Programs 
We started our season with a Junior programme, we did that this year and what we are doing now is the buildup.
Next year we are starting the junior programme in February and it is named after Dr. D.K Olukoya, he is going to be taking over the sponsorship of the junior programme,
That is where we should start from and once we have done that, we will do the non conversional sports like the 50m 150m, 300m, 600m, 1mile and others.
This is what is obtainable all over the world but unfortunately in this country; we don’t have winter time so we don’t have indoor.
 All over the world during the winter time, they run indoors which is the shorter distances to prepare you for the out door, so since we don’t have the indoor,  we can run the same races but in a different environment. So we are starting with our junior program which starts in February.
While others will be doing their out door in March, we will do ours in April, because we have a long season, don’t forget that we have the World championships and the All African Games.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Top Nigerian Athletes For 2011Future Awards

Top Nigeria athletes who made their marks in 2010 have been nominated for this year’s edition of the Future Awards billed for Sunday December 19, 2010 in Lagos.
Leading the pack is new Africa queen of tracks, Blessing Okagbare 22, who is in contention with the likes of Don Jazzy (Entrepreneur) 29, Genevieve Nnaji (Actor) 31, Psquare (Artiste) 30 amongst others for the young person of the year award.
Also, 2010 Commonwealth Games triple jump gold medalist, Tosin Oke 30, will slug it out with other sports personalities in the sports person of the year category which have top stars like Peter Emelieze 22(Athletes) and Janet Dung 24 (Athlete) while others are Chinedu Obasi (Football) 24, Vincent Enyeama (Football) 28, Christiana Nwoye (Wrestling), Desire Oparanozie (Football) 19 and Mobolaji Akiode (Basketball) 28.
According to organizers, voting begins immediately with the voting numbers as 33120 for Nigeria, 99199 for Canada, 80079 for UK: and 97605 USA while adding that voting takes only 50% of the first stage of judging, so winners are not selected by voting popularity. There is a also a 4-stage judging process involving a Board of Judges and an Independent Audit Committee.

I Won’t Dump Qatar For Nigeria-Ogunode

Nigerian born and Qatar 200m and 400m gold medalist at the just concluded Asian Games, Femi Ogunode in this interview with SportsDay’s Oke Oluku reveals the rationale behind his decision of choosing Qatar ahead of Nigeria.

What attracted you to athletics and how did you become involved?
Well I will say that nothing attracted me to athletics, the sport is what I like and what I love to become since when I was young. I started having the zeal for athletics since I was young so there is really nothing that attracted me to the sport.
I got my talent from God; it is a gift from God almighty.

Being a Nigerian who runs for Qatar, what do you know about Nigerian athletics?
Nigeria has good athletes but the problem they are having is that there is nobody to encourage them.
All they need do is to give the athletes the best opportunity to prove themselves on track, motivate them financially and you will see the potentials in them.

How was your upbringing like?
Well my upbringing was very good; I had a good time growing up

Why did you choose Qatar Instead of Nigeria?
I decided to choose Qatar because it is always good seeing people encouraging you when you do something good and I am aspiring to be a great athlete and Qatar is where my heart is at the moment.

You won the 200m and 400m crown at the Asian Games in Guangzhou-China, how does it feel like winning for an adopted country?
I feel great because in Qatar, they know my value and they are really appreciating me for doing the country proud. You know it is always good to win and winning the 200 and 400m gold during the Asian Games really made me happy.

The Athletics federation of Nigeria recently signed a new deal with NIKE, amongst it, rewarding Nigerian athletes; do you think this deal will help Nigeria athletics?
The answer to this question is no, I said no because the money will not be going to the athletes directly. We all know how these things are done in Nigeria.

With this new deal with NIKE, if called to represent Nigeria, will you change your status as a Qatar athlete?
I will never change my status as a Qatari sprinter.

You are the best 200m and 400m in Asia, does this act as a huge motivation?
Sure it does, this will ginger me to greater height.

What is your favorite distance?
Sprint of course.

What has been your best highlight to date?
Winning the Asian Games 200m and 400m gold medal are my best highlight for the year.

What are your ambitions?
My ambition right now is to become a legend, World and Olympic champion.

Which is the best and which is the worst part of being an athlete?
The best is to be winning, and the worst is to loose, you know how it feels to lose a race or a mark.

Advice for upcoming athletes
My advice to them is to train hard and be focus. Believe in themselves and trust in God.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

FCT to Storm Sports Festival With Fresh Athletes

Against the background of recycling and 'buying' athletes to win events at all costs during national and international championships, FCT director of sports, Mohammed Alim Musa has said the FCT contingent to the next National Sports Festival in Port Harcourt will be pre-dominantly made up of fresh athletes discovered from the grassroots. This, according to him is to expose athletes discovered from the grassroots to more competitive atmosphere and prepare them for future challenges, both at the national and international levels.
He said athletes who will be flying the FCT’s flag at the 17th National Sports Festival are drawn from the FCT Inter-Collegiate Athletics Championship tagged 'Athletes of Hope’, Inter-area Council Sports Festival, Inter-area Council Handball Championship, the Minister Cup and so on. "The National Sports Festival is purely a developmental event to unearth new talents. And our tradition is to use the event to showcase the new athletes discovered from all our grassroot competitions. Between last year and this year, we have embarked on different grassroot events and we will be heading to the National Sports Festival with all the athletes we discovered from the programmes," Alim declared.
The director explained further that Team FCT's target at the bi-annual championship is not to finish in top spot but that the team is determined to make meaningful impact. "Our goal is not finish first, but I want to assure you that the FCT is determined to leave a lasting legacy in the history of National Spots Festival. We have a lot of young talented athletes from Athletes of Hope, the inter-collegiate athletics championship and Nigerians should watch out for them in Port Harcourt. They may not win gold medals for us, but rest assured they will definitely get us silver medals."