Divine Oduduru (centre) ran a personal best of 20.34 in the 200m event of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil behind Olympic and World Record holder, Jamaican Usain Bolt. The best the reigning Nigeria 200m champion could reach was a semi final finish at the Games.
Nigerian International Athletes Association (NIAA) 2016 Convention slated for October in California, USA is to focus on the state of athletics in Nigeria.
NIAA is a union of former Nigerian star athletes based in the United States of America.
According to the President of NIAA, Grace Apiafi, the NIAA is worried that Nigeria today still struggles with the development of talented young athletes.
Apiafi was a shot put and discus thrower who represented Nigeria at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. she is currently a professor in the Health Science Department of Pasadena City College, California.
“The last Olympic was an eye-opener for us all. This is a time for action and NIAA is ready to lead the charge and we need the support of all stakeholders in athletics. There are a number of ways to make an impact on improving the standard of education, sports and health care in Nigeria,’’ stressed the NIAA president.
Apiafi revealed that the 2016 NIAA Banquet and Gala will bring together some of the most influential minds in the area of medicine, coaching, and athletics.
She also disclosed that the event will be used to raise fund and accept donation in kind to support kids from disadvantage homes with their education and help talented young athletes to combine sports and education,
“This convention is a significant fundraiser for NIAA to be effective in making the necessary changes needed to improve sports and education in Nigeria and around Africa.
Beyond making the impact on the future of the youth, the gala is a fun-packed event with great entertainment, live band and dancing,” she hinted.
Apiafi said this is an opportunity to enjoy the company of friends and to meet new people
who are united in the mission of making necessary changes to the lives of talented but socio-economically disadvantage youths in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.
She also revealed that NIAA will honour four physicians and a former college coach. “Ourgoal is to recognise their accomplishments and honour them for the exemplary services that have positively influenced the lives of several individuals here and abroad.”