Monday, January 31, 2011

London 2012: Nigeria Picks Loughborough University For Camping

Determined to ensure Nigeria athletes’ hits it big at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC, has selected one of the best training camps for Team Nigeria.
Team Nigeria would use the Loughborough University as preparation camp prior to the London 2012 Olympic Games.
President of the NOC, Engineer Sani Ndanusa who announced this after the executive meeting of the NOC held weekend at the ANOCA Headquarters in Abuja said that the camp site rates among the best with its world class facilities and is the country's leading University for sport.
Team Great Britain is also expected to use the state of the art facilities to prepare for the Games. The University has been the base for preparation for British Olympians.
The NOC President who is also the President of Nigeria Tennis Federation said that the welfare of athletes was instrumental to getting the camp for Team Nigeria.
"Our number one priority is to ensure that Nigerian athletes have the best possible preparation environment. We are confident that Loughborough University's excellence in the field of sport will be of huge benefit to Team Nigeria’s aspiration of performing creditably at the Games".
Besides Nigeria and Great Britain, Loughborough University would also host the Japanese Olympic team prior to the 2012 Olympic Games.  The co-location of major teams would create a unique environment, with Loughborough likely to have the highest concentration of Olympic activity.

Abinuwa Wins Gold In New Mexico

… As Noah Akwu, Egwero Return To Track
Africa Senior Athletics Championship gold medalist, Endurance Abinuwa claimed victory Saturday as UTEP turned in an impressive showing in the New Mexico Invitational Indoor Track & Field meet at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
In the women’s 200m, Abinuwa vastly improved her time from two weeks ago to 23.90 from 24.22 to take third in the event.
She posted the fastest qualifying time of 39 runners in the women's 60-meter dash (7.44 seconds), and then bettered that by winning the finals in a time of 7.34.
Abinuwa had clocked a time of 7.45 two weeks ago on the same track during the Miners’ season opener at the Lobo Open.
Meanwhile, Middle Tennessee quarter-miler Noah Akwu shined on Saturday at the 2011 Rod McCravy Memorial meet in Lexington, Ky. Akwu earned a personal-best time of 47.49 in event that is expected to be among the best in Sun Belt Standings this year, a time that was almost a half second better than is standing season-best time.
Akwu, who entered the weekend 29th in the NCAA, unofficially sits as the 13th fastest time in the nation.
While ECOWAS U23 gold medalist, Ogo Ogho Egwero made 6.64 in the B final 60m dash at the Chemnitz: 14.45 WTJ for Demut & Lavillenie over Mohr.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Nigeria Sports Officials Are Not Sincere-Etinosa

2006 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist, Etinosa Eriyo, in this interview says Nigeria sporting officials are not sincere when it comes to team selection for championships.
The Edo state born special sports athlete insists Nigeria has the materials to make it at the international level but attributes lack of fund, inadequate preparations, tribalism as some of the factors militating against Nigerian sports.

My name is Etinosa Eriyo, a Nigerian naturalized Australian who is also special sports athlete. I was born and grew up in Benin City, Edo state where I had all schooling and I had the idea of being an athlete at a very tender age because I love running.
I started in 2002 with the national championships in Calabar and later represented Edo state in two National Sports Festivals before representing Nigeria at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Events Attended in Nigeria Colors
I attended the national championships in Calabar where I won 2 silver medals in the 100 and 200m dash. I was also at the 2002 National Sports Festival in Edo State where I won 2 gold and a silver medal in the 100m, 200m and 400m respectively.
In the Abuja 2009 edition, I won 2goal medals in the 100 and 200m while I represented the country in the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia and I got a bronze medal in the 100m sprint.

Leaving Nigeria for Australia
Well I have been competing for Nigeria for so many years now and I decided to leave for Australia because Nigeria sports is not growing properly, there are so many things going on in Nigeria sports because the officials not being honest to athletes.
This is killing sports in Nigeria but the officials don’t care at all and this is very bad to sports development.
Nigeria sporting officials don’t do things or select athletes on merit to championships.
I was here for so many years and I was not moving on at all. I was not invited to national camp, not making any team for international competition and I really don’t know their reason for doing that.
 When the opportunity of going to Australia came, I had to go though I know it was not going to be easier at first but I still went and I have been there for five years now and my life now is better than when I was here in Nigeria or competing for Nigeria.
I actually did well when I made the Team to the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia where I won a bronze medal for Nigeria and that was when I decided to stay there because the country is good.

On the Athletics Federation of Nigeria
Since I am new and I heard there are new people in the AFN, I really cannot talk on them because I don’t know how far they have gone in re-positioning the sport.

Activities in Australia
I am running a personal business in Australia as a personal trainer; people pay me to train them so it has been good so far.
One thing I will say is that being an Australia citizen does not take Nigeria from me; my families are still here so I will be coming home all the time but right now living in Australia.
May be if I was still in Nigeria, nobody knows I might be begging for money to feed because Nigeria sports officials don’t care about the athletes.
When I was here, I don’t even have a club but today in Australia I have my own house and office and I also have workers but here it was not so.
Can you believe some athletes that saw me came to ask for money from me? That is bad; it shows that the Nigeria sport I left five years ago is still the same in terms of motivating athletes. That is too bad.
We are all citizens of this country and we should be treated equally. In the Western World, all the citizens are the same, rich and poor are the same, they live well. It is so annoying to see people that participated in the same tournament with you still begging to feed. In some countries, it is a pride to wear the country’s kit for competition but in Nigeria, the reverse is the case, I know so many athletes today who did not have the opportunity to travel out of the country, they are not doing well while I still know many that are outside the country doing great for their adopted countries.

Running for Australia
Definitely I will do it because I am now their citizen and at the moment whatever I am doing in life now is Australia.

Contributions and way forward for Nigeria athletes and athletics
Like I said earlier on, I have been in Australia for five years now, I am not rich for now but the only way we can contribute to the betterment of this game is by speaking to the government, the government is in charge of sports, Nigeria makes more money than Australia but Australia is doing better than Nigeria.
The problem with Nigeria is that the government spends the money taking care of themselves not minding the athletes at all or the citizens. Government needs to intervene in different areas to make sure all the sports men and women benefit from the little resources that come to sports.
I was not born in Australia but I have benefited from their government immensely, just because I am now their citizen, I can say whatever I want to say unlike here and like I said before, to contribute has to do with the government because that is where the money is.
The way forward for Nigeria athletics is that government should be pro-active in the development of athletics.
My friend, Nigerian athletes are great but with the way the sport is being manage here, the country is not getting the best.
In 2006 when we were to travel for the Commonwealth Games, I was so disappointed when the government said there was no money to take Nigeria athletes to the Games, some athletes were left behind because of money while some whose names were on the list could not go because they were substituted by officials, was that fair?
In Australia, I went for two major surgeries and the government paid for them, but If it was to be in Nigeria, will I be able to afford it? The answer then will be no because there will be no money.
There were two great former governors that were really championing the growth of athletics in Nigeria then, Chief Nosa Lucky Igbenedion of Edo state and Chief James Ibori of Delta state and also Brown Ebewele is also a great motivator of athletics, if not for Ebewele, I wouldn’t have traveled out of Nigeria and if we can get people like them again, I think Nigeria athletics will be great, because we have the materials to make champions but the funds to make the champions is not coming. My Coach, Aziz also contributed to my athletics success today, I am grateful to these people.

Advice to Nigeria athletes
We know sport is a very difficult thing to do in Nigeria, when I was starting, my parents refused that I should indulge in sports. But now they are happy I went into it.
My advice to Nigeria athletes is that they should try and continue to do what they know best and they should also try and make themselves comfortable at the same time.
We know some Nigeria athletes who travel with team abroad run away, well I won’t blame them, I will use this opportunity to tell them, if they have the opportunity of staying back in abroad after competition, they have my support.
There are so many athletes today who have traveled to more than ten countries for competition but today they are still begging for money because the system does not take care of them, it is bad. I took that decision in 2006 and I am glad I did. So it is left to the athletes to do same.

Nigeria Sets All Africa Games Medal Targets

With the All Africa Games by the coner, the National Sports Commission says the country's target at the Games in Maputo is to win 95 percent of the medals on parade.
Minister of Sports and Chairman National Sports Commission, Professor Taoheed Adedoja disclosed this in Abuja. Adedoja said preparation for the games will start with a local camping on the 15th of Febuary in eight centres across the country.
The venues for the local camping, he said are Kaduna, Abuja, Lagos, Shagamu, Ijebu-Ode, Ibadan, Calabar and Asaba. He said Nigeria will be represented by 780 athletes and officials at the games.
He revealed that the Commission has budgeted N3.3 billion for the games which will hold in July Maputo, Mozambique, saying the money will be spent on preparations, training, equipment, allowances and the prosecution of the games proper, stressing that the budget for the Games has been included in this year's budget proposal.
Adedoja, who said the country would participate in 23 sports at the games, however said the decision to feature in some of the sports is to expose such athletes as a way of preparing them for future challenges.
The Minister said the sports to be featured in are weightlifting, basketball, cycling, boxing, chess, swimming, table tennis, football, handball, shooting, athletics, volleyball, canoeing, badminton, judo, gymnastic, taekwondo, karate, rowing and sailing.
He added that, aside from the local camping, the athletes will go on foreign training tour before the games proper.

Tosin Oke Inspires School Children In UK

Commonwealth Games triple jump champion Tosin Oke has stated his 2011 season by helping to inspire school children in the UK at the launch of a Metropolitan Police sports initiative recently.
Oke, who grew up in Hackney but represents Nigeria, put pupils from Stepney Green School through their paces at the launch of the Met Track scheme at Mile End Stadium.
According to the PE teacher of the school, Giovani Giordano, meeting Oke had proved a real incentive for the school’s budding athletes.
According to Oke, “the scheme is all about getting more children involved in athletics and the initial signs were very good. The Met Track scheme is important in helping to turn children towards sport rather than hanging around on the streets.”
The dark-complexioned athlete, who won the Commonwealth Games title in India last year at the age of 30, worked with some promising athletes and gave them some advice on how to improve their strength and endurance.
PC Steve Austin, who works for the Metropolitan Police youth team programme said, “It is an excellent example of how the Metropolitan Police, together with world-class athletes, such as Tosin Oke, can create an environment where young people can be inspired.”
Met Track works across most of London’s boroughs, aiming to get teenagers in touch with qualified local athletes.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

AFN Terminates Glo Marathon Contract

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has terminated its relationship with Globacom Nigeria Ltd, due to the inability of the telecommunication company to fulfill terms of the contract for the annual Glo-Lagos International Half Marathon.
Rising from a board meeting in Abuja yesterday, January 26 2011, AFN insisted that it could no longer wait endlessly for Globacom on the international marathon.
Dr. Geofrey Ogu, AFN board member who confirmed the decision of the board revealed that Globacom had been in default for two years running.
“The board (AFN) has just decided now to terminate the contract. We are going to give an update on the marathon in due time. What however is certain is that the contract with Globacom has been terminated,” observed the board member.
Yesterday’s decision by the AFN board is a fall out of many months of trying to persuade the telecommunication company to honor it’s obligation in line with the five-year contract it signed in 2007 with the federation.
Technical/ Performance Director of the AFN Sunday Bada had recently openly lamented the embarrassment the Lagos Half Marathon was turning into, following a spate of enquiries from international athletes.
"We have an existing contract with Globacom. The terms of the five years contract says that the event will hold every year but for what ever reason that didn’t happen last year and this year they are not making any move to see how the event will take place,” observed the former IAAF World Cup winner.
While reiterating the importance of the Half Marathon as the highest of the AFN property, the Sydney Olympic 4x400m gold medalist frowned at situations where sponsors fail to honor agreement mutually entered into.
Inability of the AFN to pay some athletes that took part in the last CAA Super Grand in Abuja in 2009 had created problems with the world body IAAF. Similarly, other debts arising from the Port Harcourt marathon bankrolled by the Rivers State government had created image problem for the country in the committee of road running members of IAAF.

Monday, January 24, 2011

NOC Meets Over London 2012 Olympics

The Executive board of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC, would meet on Thursday in Abuja to map out strategies on Nigeria’s outings in major competition for the year and the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The meeting which will commence at 11.00 a.m prompt would deliberate on the London 2012 Olympic Games, 10th All Africa Games in Mozambique, the Commonwealth Youth Games in Isle of Man and Nigeria’s readiness to partake in the Games and excel. The NOC would also during the one-day meeting set up committees that would drive the NOC to realize its dream of bringing back the glory days of sports in Nigeria. NOC President, Engineer Sani Ndanusa had declared the year 2011 as year of Nigerian athletes.
“We want to make our athletes the focal point of all that we do. That means that the welfare of the athletes will be our priority. We want them to get all that their colleagues get elsewhere and win medals for the country,” Ndanusa said.
Secretary General Tunde Popoola, who also emphasized on the welfare of athletes, however said that the athletes must be ready to stay off drugs in order not to tarnish the image of the country. “Our meeting will touch on the important Games that Nigeria will take part in. So far, things are looking up since we came in and we want to ensure that we get things right both for athletes and for Nigeria,” Popoola noted.

Okagbare, Tosin Oke Wins Africa Best Award

Africa’s new queen of track, Blessing Okagbare and Commonwealth Games triple jump gold medalist, Tosin Oke have both been adjudged as the best jumpers in Africa by a US base athletics magazine, the All- Athletics Magazine.
Both jumpers, who also have been nominated for the Nigeria Future Award young person of the year and Sports personality award in Nigeria, got the awards and nomination due to their performance in the year 2010. 
Okagbare scored a 100 m/long jump double at the NCAA Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championship for University of Texas at El Paso, completing an undefeated collegiate streak in 2010. She won the Africa 100m title in Kenya during the 17th CAA Africa Senior Athletics Championships in 2010, running a time of 11.03 seconds.
In the 2010 season, Tosin Oke jumped a series of personal bests indoors, finishing with 16.89m in Birmingham. In the Outdoors, he opened up with a short approach competition at the Loughborough international, and in his second competition broke the British Athletics League record with 17.05m at Copthall, Hendon. In his finest season so far, he went on to win the 2010 African Championships in Nairobi, Kenya with a personal best jump of 17.22m, 1 cm off the Championship record, and to top it off, became the 2010 Commonwealth Games Champion in New Delhi, India with his second furthest jump ever - 17.16m.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Athletics Federation Roles Out 2011 programs …Warns Debtor Affiliates

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has rolled out its programs for the 2011 season.
The calendar will open next month with the National All Comers championship slated for February 18 and 19 at the Liberty Stadium, Ibadan. The Second National All Comers holds in Lagos.
Refreshing introductions to the AFN programme for 2011 includes developmental Under-16 and Under-18 national athletics trials, aimed at discovering fresh talents.
The youth programme named after Pastor D.K Olukoya, the General Overseer of the Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministry is slated to hold at the sports ground of the Yaba College of Technology in Lagos.
In April, the AFN Golden League will begin with the Abuja leg named after the Chief of Naval Staff. It will be followed in May by the Kaduna leg named after Bishop David Oyedepo of the Winners Chapel while the third leg named after Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God holds in Warri on May 20 and 21.
The venue of the final legs of the league, slated for June 3 and 4 are yet to be decided.
Meanwhile, the AFN has warned all its affiliate members that their athletes risk being left out of the federation's programmes and competitions during the year if they fail to redeem all outstanding indebtedness.
In a letter with ref number AFN/Gen/AFF/431/Vol.1/137 dated January 17, 2011 sent to all the athletic associations, clubs and higher institutions, the federation warned that unless all outstanding debts were paid before February 28 this year, “Debtors will no longer be invited to national competitions, in addition to also being barred from enjoying all other facilities.”
According to the letter signed by the assistant secretary of the AFN Mrs. Rita Akande, any athlete without a valid license “will not be allowed to take part in any competition organized and supervised by the federation.” She warned further that licenses of all athletes must be obtained this January with the right fees in the various categories.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nigerian Athletes And The Unending Presidential Wait

The year 2010 went into history as expected leaving sour memories in the mind of the Nigerian athletes. It was a year that ended without the so-much-anticipated Presidential rewards for the Nigerian athletes that won laurels for the country in major international competitions for the year. There were high expectations that President Goodluck Jonathan would host the athletes in December last year and shower either praises or naira on them. Or both! But that rain never fell. Almost 20 days into the New Year, not the slightest glimpse of hope has emanated from the seat of power as to when these great Nigerians will be decorated by Mr. President.
The excuse before the end of the year was that Mr. President was too busy to host the athletes since the National Sports Commission (NSC) came out with a uniform reward for all the country’s sports men and women. Pronto, the Presidency bought the idea and a committee with the Secretary to the Federal Government as chairman and members from the Finance Ministry, NSC and other ministries. A letter was forwarded to the Presidency for a date in December but till date no reply has been sent to fix the date.
The anxiety of the Nigerian athletes was aggravated in November when the victorious Super Falcons who won the African Women Championship in South Africa for a record sixth time were given red carpet reception at the Aso Villa. Yet other heroes and heroines that went for the Commonwealth Games in India, the athletes that competed and did well at the IAAF and the African Athletics Championship in Kenya were kept waiting for the Presidential blessing which is fast becoming the endless wait for Gordon.
We can see the wisdom in the harmonization method proposed by the NSC but if the president’s wife received the Female Under 20 team that almost won the World Cup, at that level, in Germany on arrival; then we want to say here that what’s sauce for the goose should also be sauce for the gender. The other athletes deserve recognition from the government. The athletes that went to New Delhi deserve whatever the government can offer for a feat that was last achieved 16 years ago.
In a nutshell, year 2010 was glorious for Nigeria in terms of sports. It was a year that Nigeria made a bold statement that the country is ready to take her place in the comity of sporting nations. Leaving the athletes to keep waiting endlessly is not a good way to say thank you to the gallant citizens that have brought honour to the nation.
We are aware that the President was far too busy with his primaries. Yes, the President did not want to delegate the responsibility of receiving the athletes to anyone. But what happens now that the battle is over. The ticket has been won and lost and we feel that taking just an evening off to receive these athletes won’t in any way affect the outcome of the general election in April. In fact, it will simply be part of the victory celebration just as it will enhance better acceptance for Mr. President by the youth of this country who will now know that they have a future with President Jonathan in the saddle.
If the lawmakers are being celebrated at every stratum of governance in Nigeria, if the workers’ welfare package is being looked into by the government, then our athletes deserve a better treatment from the Presidency.
While we await the largesse from Aso Rock, we want to advise the government to pay more attention to sports especially this year that’s loaded with activities. Money for championships should be released as and when due rather than wait for the eleventh hour when it will be useless. We also want the National Assembly to be meticulous about the budgets for all the major events this year to forestall a situation where money will not be allocated for one event like the Singapore Youth Olympics last year. This year, we want to see more Nigerian athletes mounting the podium while the National Anthem is being sung. That can only be possible with the support of Aso Rock and the almighty NASS.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Adegboyega Qualifies for Turkish Indoor Championship …Runs 6.30 seconds in 60 m

2005 IAAF Grand Prix Silver medalist, Bamise Emmanuel Adegboyega early this week qualified for the 2011 Turkish Indoor championship coming up in February returning with 6.30 seconds in the 60m event.
The race which was suppose to have other athletes running along side Bamise to beat the qualifying time of 6.91, saw Adegboyega running all alone as other athletes were disqualified after beating the gun.
According to Bamise, though he qualified, the race was bad as he did not have the opportunity to challenge the other athletes which he says would have been better if he had ran with the others.
“The race was really bad for me because I was the only one that ran it as all of the other guys were disqualified because they beat the gun and were sent out.
“It would have been better to run with the others because then I would have felt the competitiveness of the race.
With this time, Bamise Emmanuel Adegboyega remains the 60m champion in Turkey.
The race was for the qualification for the Turkish Indoor championship coming up in February this year.
Meanwhile, there was a little confusion after the race when the electronic time board was discovered to be faulty and was showing a return time of 6.80 seconds while the hand time of officials was 6.30

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Athletes Storm Lagos For Jonathan

Former athletes and those that are still competing under the aegis of Sports People for Goodluck Jonathan converged at the National Stadium, Lagos Tuesday to give their support to President Goodluck Jonathan in his bid to return to Aso Rock in May.
Former African Queen of the track, Mary Onyali charged her colleagues to take part in the electoral process instead of putting their fates in the hands of other people.
Also present at the event were national boxing coach, Obisia Nwankpa, ex Eagles player, Mutiu Adepoju, former boxer, Jerry Okorodudu, former Falcons goalkeeper, Ann Agumanu, Henry Nwosu and Yusuf Ali.
According to Mary Onyali, President Jonathan has supported sports since coming to power. She said that the Nigeria Olympian Association (NOA) was using the opportunity to call on athletes to support the President in his bid to return to office.
“Since he became president he has revived the dwindling fortunes of sports and athletes can now look forward to a better future. We were at the Youth Olympics and the Commonwealth Games in India, where we did well and it could not have been possible without his support.”
She called on the athletes to support President Jonathan so that they would continue to get the needed support to further their career.
Former hurdler, Henry Amike, who is the chairman mobilization committee of the group, said that the development is novel in the history of sports and national politics.
“We have observed that often in the fray of our national politics, the sports community is usually passive in spite of our huge number considering the individual and group contributions to the unity of the nation. Therefore, this is an attempt to identify with the polity of the nation for good governance. We cannot just sit back all the time. Significantly, as is obvious, we as a group have unequivocally taken our stand behind President Goodluck Jonathan.
 He added: “Under President Jonathan, the crises that bedeviled the Nigerian Olympic Committee (NOC) for instance was amicably resolved and the Federal Executive Council approved and gave support to the re-organization of the Nigeria Olympians Association (NOA), for which he has accepted to be Grand Patron.
Amike said the ongoing transformation in the National Sports Commission (NSC), has begun to yield fruits, culminating in the brilliant performance of Team Nigeria at the Commonwealth Games.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Athletes Waits On Presidential Reward

The much talked about Presidential rewards to athletes who did the country proud in 2010 is now a source of concern to some of the country’s sports men and women who feels it’s another white elephant project.
Some of the athletes who don’t want their names in print while speaking on the Presidential rewards which was earlier billed for the first week of December maintained it is high time the attitude of promising and failing be stopped.
 “It is no longer news to hear about such things from government people, they are all talk and no action. If the money had come when they said they will give it out, it would have helped all of us during the Christmas and New Year celebration but being what they are known for, they disappointed us all.”
Another Europe base athlete said the presidential reward was a good initiative but as usual, is now going the Nigeria way whereby it is all talk and no action.
“Rewarding athletes by the president is a good initiative but we all know what is up tenable in Nigeria. But it is a shame that the event has been delayed too much after the momentum has gone down and piling up several teams for rewards could be cumbersome.
Similarly, a Super Falcon player says she sees no reason why government is delaying the reward to the real people re-branding the nation while the same government is giving out presidential awards to politicians.
Meanwhile, Secretary of the harmonization committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan to work out a harmonized package for sports men and women, Dr. Patrick Ekeji said that the committee has concluded its assignment and has submitted its report to the presidency for approval.
Ekeji said the committee is waiting on the president to fix a date for the colorful ceremony that will take place in Abuja.
“The committee has done its assignment and has submitted its report to the Secretary to the federal government for approval. Now we are waiting for the president to pick a date for the ceremony which will take place in Abuja soon. After the ceremony, our athletes’ will all smile home or to the bank,” he promised.
It would be recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan set up a committee to harmonize a reward package for sports men and women which did the country proud in 2009/2010 and the team includes: Team Nigeria to the Senior Africa Athletics Championship in Kenya, Nigeria Junior Athletics team to Canada, the Super Falcons, the U-20 female team, the Falconets, the U-17 female team, Flamingoes as well as the male U-17 team, the Golden Eaglets.

Gbagbeke Eyes Sprint In New Season

Africa Senior Athletics Championship bronze medalist, Stanley Avwarosuoghene Gbagbeke has expressed his determination to include sprint in his program for the 2011 season that will be starting soon.
In this chat, the Delta born long jumper said sprint has always been on his mind but has now decided to include it to his long jumping in 2011.
Though he said it has been tough since he started the sprint workout, he had to endure it to make it this year in the event.
He specifically stated that he will be competing for the 100m and 200m events with other athletes in Nigeria.
“2011 is here and I’m training hard to make it a good season for me. I just included the sprint workout to my training schedule. It’s been tough though but I got to endure it because I have to make it in the 100 and 200m.”
Debunking the notion that he will find it difficult in the sprint, the US based athlete said that sprint has always been his game starting that he was in the country’s 4x100m men team in the Commonwealth Games that was held in India.
“I am not new to sprint at all, I have been doing it but not in competitions but during the last Commonwealth Games in India, I was in the men 4x100 team, I ran the third leg of the heat,” he assured.

Okagbare, Tosin, Emelieze Set For 2011Future Awards

All is now set for the 2011 edition of the annual future Awards in Lagos as three top athletes who made their marks in 2010 have been nominated for this year’s edition.
In the Nigeria athletics circle, Africa queen of tracks, Blessing Okagbare 22, will be slugging it out with others for the young person of the year award which includes music producer, Don Jazzy 29, World renowned actress, Genevieve Nnaji 31, Nigeria’s music duo, Psquare and others.
In the sports personality of the year category, 2010 Commonwealth Games triple jump gold medalist, Tosin Oke 30, will slug it out with other sports personalities which have top stars like Peter Emelieze 22 who was at the Commonwealth Games in India, another athlete, Janet Dung 24, Super Eagles players Chinedu Obasi 24 and Vincent Enyeama 28, wrestler Christiana Nwoye, Super Falcons hotshot, Desire Oparanozie 19 and basketballer Mobolaji Akiode 28 will all slug it out to claim the title of the sports personality of the year..
Voting begins last month with voting numbers as 33120 for Nigeria, 99199 for Canada, 80079 for UK: and 97605 USA.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

NOC Appoints Ekeji London 2012 Chef-De-Mission

The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) has named the Director General of the National Sports Commission, Dr Patrick Ekeji, as the Chef-De-Mission of the Nigerian contingent to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Disclosing this,  NOC President, Engr. Sani Ndanusa said that Dr Ekeji possesses the requisite knowledge as Chef-De-Mission while urging athletes to redouble their efforts to attain greater heights at the next Olympic Games.
He said that the NOC was in sync with the perspective that only sports with great medals hopes at the Games should represent Team Nigeria at the London showpiece.
“Efforts have to be geared towards ensuring that we streamline our potential to make for maximum utilization of those sports that we have high medals capacity. We have to redouble our efforts and present only sports with high medals attainment at the Olympic Games. The era of jamboree is well and truly over for Nigerian sports at international competitions,” said Ndanusa.
He also noted that the NOC was working in close alliance with the NSC to move Nigerian sports to the zenith of excellence. Ndanusa also called for total support from sponsors, athletes, stakeholders and journalists for the attainment of the dream of taking Nigerian sports to the pinnacle of excellence.
“We are all partners in this business and that is why we are asking for support from all concerned because if it turns out well for our athletes, then we all would have reasons to celebrate,” said the NOC President.

2011 All Africa Games - Ekeji Uncovers Plot to Stop Nigeria

Director-General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Dr Patrick Ekeji has uncovered plans by organizers of the 2011All Africa Games tagged 'Maputo 2011,' slated for Mozambique in July, 2011to halt Nigeria’s chances of excelling at the games.
He regretted that sports where Nigeria has strong hold on has deliberately been removed by organizers of the Games.
Ekeji, who disclosed that with the elimination of wrestling, power-lifting and Para-sports from the games, Nigerian contingents are already at a disadvantage. He vowed to take up the matter with the organizers of the event and ensure the situation is addressed to avoid putting any country at a disadvantage.
“We found that some sports like wrestling, power-lifting and Para-sport, which are our medal hopefuls, were not included as sports that will be competed for at the 2011 All Africa Games in Mozambique this year.”
“These are sports in which we have comparative advantage. I understand that wrestling was not listed because the president of the African Wrestling Federation is from Morocco, and the country does not participate in the AAG. Hence at the AU Conference of Sports Ministers, he was not there to make a case for the sport when the decision was taken.
“It is a well-known fact that the politics of who wins games often start in the boardroom as contenders try to outsmart each other by including only those sports they count on. We will take the matter up and ensure the right adjustment is made in the game. The same scenario happened during the recent Commonwealth Games where the host nation, India, tried to remove weight-lifting from the game. However, when we threatened to withdraw from the game if they remove the sport, they quickly restored it,” he disclosed.

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 Is Year For Athletes, Says Ndanusa

The President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Engr Sani Ndanusa has declared 2011 as the year for Nigerian athletes.
The NOC President, in his New Year message, said that the Olympic body was firmly focused on ensuring that athletes excel in all competitions that they enter for and promised that adequate reward would be given to boost the performance of such athletes.
Ndanusa, who is the Vice-President of the Confederation of African Tennis (CAT) and President of the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF), said that a deliberate policy of motivation for athletes had been developed by the NOC, stating that athletes would be motivated in all forms that would make them to compete favorably with their foreign counterparts in all international competitions.
He said that it has become imperative for athletes to be maximally motivated given that they had not received such support in the past.
"Our focal point in 2011 would be on the athletes, who are the real actors of sports. The NOC will do anything and everything to support them and ensure that they excel at major international competitions, like the All Africa Games in Botswana and the Olympic Games London 2012", said Ndanusa.
The NOC boss also urged the press to beam their searchlight more on athlete’s progress and challenges rather than on administrators.
"Sports is for athletes and they are the ones who we all should focus our attention to ensure that they become great. We cannot afford to relegate our athletes to the background because they are the ones who are on the stage", he said.
The NOC president noted that the body will do its bit to contribute to real grassroots programmes.
The NOC President also urged all sports federations to submit their programmes for 2011 to the NOC for support.
"In helping our athletes to grow, we need to know what the federations have set out to do in the year and that is why we are imploring them to submit their programmes for the year to us, so that we can offer them our support," Ndanusa stated.