Africa’s foremost former women’s quarter-miler, Falilat Ogunkoya and Nigeria’s long jump record holder, Yusuf Ali have called on corporate bodies in the country to support athletics and other sports by sponsoring events aimed at discovering young talents and nurturing them to become world beaters.
Speaking at the final of Athletics Federation Nigeria (AFN) Golden League in Akure, which was sponsored by Honorable Kingsley Kuku, special adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Ogunkoya posited that if Corporate Nigeria and wealthy individuals emulate him, they will create employment for many youths and help in combating crime.
Ogunkoya stated at length: “The board of AFN and the athletes are immensely grateful to Hon. Kuku for coming to our assistance in sponsoring this championship at short notice.
“He not only sponsored the meet, he added glamour by mobilizing hundreds of Akure residents to attend the championship, then apart from the prize money we pay athletes, Kuku also gave best performers special money.
“This is highly commendable, if we have 37 Kuku in all the 36 states of the federation and FCT, hundreds of Usain Bolt and other great talents in all the nook and crannies of Nigeria will be discovered in short time”.
On his part, Ali, who is technical manager of the Golden League, said if other Nigerians emulate Kuku by investing in sports, especially track and field, they will not assist in discovering new talents but assisting in solving many socio-economic problems,
“Studies have shown that there are three way societies can help children, they are sports education, entertainment and sports, and of the three; sports is least expensive and most adaptable.
“So, we are appealing to well to do Nigerians to join hands with likes of Hon. Kuku to assist the masses and use sports to solve socio-economic problem”, said Alli.