‘I represent Naija’….I will go for gold!

Olympic medalist Falilat Ogunkoya, who is an ambassador for the West African School Sport Union(WASSU) was quoted as saying that “the only way we will stop recycling athletes is to build from the grassroots. I was discovered in primary school and went on to represent Nigeria for close to 20 years……..WASSU’s plan is to generate more talents from the primary to the secondary, so that Nigeria and West Africa will once again become a powerhouse in sports.” She said this last year when WASSU’s games were about to be hosted in Lagos.

 ‘She was discovered in primary school’. It’s a no-brainer! This is the kind of precedence that shouldn’t slip completely out of the structure of our school systems. In my secondary school (a federal government school), there were star students in all games, I mean ALL. I see talents everyday that I’m not skilled to train-and that hurts. I can barely run to save my life! So, how can the many P.E teachers around the country be aided to build these talents? Consider this. 

The shift in paradigm from hard-work to ‘I can get rich quick’ or/and the short cut syndrome is a stain we can erase. We start by talent hunting from the early years of these young stars. Build a structure that will secure support for their education through scholarships up to university level. We can also encourage these talents in primary to secondary schools by developing a reward system for their hard work and dedication. This is done by organizing regular incentive based local school competitions- This will also help to promote the values of hard work. Enough with ‘you really don’t have to work hard’! Yes, it seems as though success is now equated to a government appointment gotten by hook or crook, (and even that wont go round). The reality is glaring: Countries that have invested in building ‘institutions’ for sports have a sound Sports Education curriculum and of course results to show for it.

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  1. when they can get rich quick nko, why will they want to work hard now! let us stop the crap, if you will get rich quicker, then why will you bother your head in this country. you may just die from headache. pls dont crucify me here o.

  2. just read your write up on this sport issue and am thinking good stuff. can the minister for sports get a copy? who? am i kidding? they are in love with the status quo!!! hardwork and dedication….hmmm…an illusion in Naija today, but if the structures like those suggested were to be in place and adequately implemented, then we can hope for the best in sports but reality now…hmmmm..don know

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