A special purpose-built wheelchair-accessible bus has been donated to the Nigeria Para-powerlifting Federation by Friesland Campina WAMCO, manufacturer of Peak Milk, for the convenience and mobility of these special athletes.
The presentation was done at the Ogba Ikeja headquarters of Friesland Campina WAMCO, manufacturers of Peak Milk, Nigeria’s number one dairy product and market leader, on Tuesday evening.
Officials said the company chose to host the Unstoppables, a bunch of Para-powerlifters powered and nourished by Peak milk, as a mark of honour for their landmark performance at the Lagos 2019 World Para-powerlifting Tournament where Team Nigeria scooped all the 20 gold medals and a sizeable number of the silver and the bronze and, at the same time, motivate the athletes for better outing in subsequent competitions by fulfilling its promise to donate the purpose-built bus to the Federation.
Friesland Campina WAMCO’s Managing Director, Ben Langat led top management of the company to the presentation ceremony, which was attended by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports, Olusade Adesola, who represented the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, as the Special Guest of Honour.
The International Paralympic Committee-approved mobility bus sits 12 people and has capacity for 15 wheelchairs. This first of its kind mobility bus in Nigeria is equipped with automated lifts and other features to ensure convenience and the safety of athletes.
Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, said in his message: “With this donation, FrieslandCampina WAMCO has elongated its catalogue of support to the Para-powerlifting team which has continued to contribute positively to Nigeria through global para-sports.
“FrieslandCampina WAMCO has remained a reliable and supportive partner of the Nigeria Para-powerlifting Federation; by this donation, the company has opened up space for greater inclusion in sports development in Nigeria,” Dalung said.
The Managing Director, Ben Langat said he believes “this bus is first of its kind in Nigeria. It will enable the athletes to be about to move around in a safe and secure manner. They are champion athletes; they are the most decorated athletes to come out of Nigeria. It is important that if we are the proud partner of this set of individuals, then we will provide them with the kind of mobility that they need to get around and do what they need to do.”
“By empowering our Unstoppable Para-powerlifters, the Peak brand is enabling Nigerians to reach for their Peak. We designed the ‘Unstoppable Campaign’ to tell the story of this remarkable set of people who have continued to break new grounds in spite of their physical limitations. Peak has touched the lives of many Nigerians with this campaign. It has become so powerful and is receiving very positive testimonials from consumers,” Langat said.
Marketing Manager, Peak, Maureen Ifada said, “As a brand and as an organisation, it makes us very happy that we are able to live the purpose of our brand. This is not about PR, or CSR, but Peak I’m Living it brand of enabling all Nigerians. What we have done here today and what we have been doing since December 2016 when we started this partnership is the fact that we are actually talking to all Nigerians, irrespective of your physical status. So, it makes us very proud that we are able to live our purpose.”
The bus presentation is coming barely a week after the para-powerlifters won a total of 42 medals (20 Gold, 15 Silver and 7 Bronze) at the just concluded World Para-powerlifting Competition held in Lagos. This is seen as increased motivation for the athletes to ‘Reach for the Peak’ at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics games.
Last year, Peak Milk renovated the powerlifting gym at the National Stadium, Lagos and provided world-class training equipment with full wheelchair accessibility. The brand also donated 15 sport wheelchairs to the athletes and sponsored the para-powerlifters to the 9th Fazza Championship in Dubai, UAE in 2018, where they won four gold medals.
The athletes have been constantly nourished with monthly supplies of Peak Milk since December 2016 till date.
In an acceptance speech, President, Nigerian Para-powerlifting Federation, Queen Uboh said, “Yes, we did a lot but without Peak Milk being by our side, we will not be able to do what we did. It has never been done, because usually when they finish, they go back to Germany to review your score, but before they left, they gave us our score right away, saying we met the requirements to host a qualifier that will involve 20 African countries and probably be able to make it to Tokyo in 2020.”