The hope of Nigeria winning laurels at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics got a boost yesterday with the Minister of Sports and Youth Development Mr Sunday Dare Adopt a Talent initiate yielding result.
According to a statement by Special Adviser (Media) to the Minister, John Joshua -Akanji said another would-be Olympian has been ‘adopted’ by a businessman under the ‘Adopt-an-Athlete’ initiative being promoted, by Mr. Dare.
The Chairman of Dakinda Football for Every Home Limited, Mr. Emmanuel Akpakwu, yesterday signed an agreement to pay $20,000 (about N7.2 million) towards the preparation and participation of Ruth Usoro at the upcoming Olympics.
The documents were signed in the minister’s office at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja.
Usoro is an overseas-based track and field athlete that has won medals in 100m, 200m, long jump and triple jump events across the globe. The money donated is to ensure she is in top shape for the Olympics scheduled for 24 July to 9 August.
In appreciation, the minister said : “On behalf of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, I thank you for choosing to assist in the development of the Nigerian sports industry by adopting our budding athlete Ms Ruth Usoro.
“We commend your contributions, as this is the right time move by making your support available as Team Nigeria embark on the voyage of Tokyo 2020 Olympics to strive to make Nigeria proud.”
According to records, 14 athletes have been adopted by various organisations and individuals in support of the Minister’s initiative.
Meanwhile,the Sports Ministry has declared that Team Nigeria is the adopted name for athletes representing the country at any sports event,even as only the Ministry can pick athletes for competitions.
According to a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Gabriel Aduda,the Ministry frowns at anyone or group that may want to factionalize or hijack Nigerian sports for selfish interest. Only Team Nigeria is recognized and qualified to represent Nigeria at sports meets .