IAAF President, Dr. Lamine Diack
For their stride in sports development in Nigeria, the University of Port Harcourt at the weekend honoured top Nigerian sports administrators and the President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Dr. Lamine Diack during the institution’s 29th Convocation Ceremony held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
For being instrumental to the approval of a High Performance Training Centre to be cited at the school, Uniport honoured Diack with an Honorary Doctorate Degree.
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria’s President, Chief Solomon Ogba, former president of the federation, Dan Ngerem, Director General of the National Sports Commission, Dr. Patrick Ekeji and the President of Nigeria Olympic Committee, Malam Sani Ndanusa were all honoured with the Worthy Fellows of the School Sports Institution (FPSSI) award.
Speaking on the choice of awardees, Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Joseph Ajienka, who said the school was elated when the news came that the IAAF president had accepted the degree also said when the choice came for the Doctorate degree, the IAAF President, Lamine Diack was the first choice that came on the list because of his resolve to raise Nigeria sports through the approval of the high performance centre in the school which will also serve as a centre for other African countries.
Ajienka said the AFN President, Chief Solomon Ogba and others were recognized for their contribution to sports development in the school.
Diack thanked the UniPort community for the degree and enjoined Nigerians to make maximum use of the High Performance Training Centre when operational.
In his remark, Ogba also thanked the VC for his award and revealed that the IAAF has promised to recommend world-class coaches for the HPTC when it becomes operational.
The delegation later went on an inspection tour of facilities on ground for the HPTC.
Diack was accompanied to Nigeria by the President of the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA), Col. Hamad Kalkaba of Cameroun.