Rejected in Nigeria, current Asia's fastest Runner returns; grooms, rewards athletes

By Editor on 05/10/2015

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Asia’s fastest man, Femi Ogunode has declared that he has nothing against Nigeria even though he now competes actively in the colours of oil-rich Qatar.

Recently in Akure, Ondo State, Ogunode through his Foundation organised an Athletics Challenge which gave a platform for youngsters across the country to showcase their talents and also get mouth-watering prices for their efforts.

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The now internationally acclaimed sprint star said he is happy and will always give back to Nigeria regardless of the fact that he was literally not allowed to blossom in the country and only made his mark after switching nationality.

He said: “I believe in giving back to people. While I was growing up I saw how we young athletes suffered to make headway in athletics. Nobody gave us a chance to showcase our talent. Last year, I thought within myself that it was time to give back to the society especially the young athletes as it seems that the body in charge of athletics here in Nigeria has better things to do than develop the sport at the grassroots level. So I decided that if i start this foundation, i will be helping athletics at the grassroots level.

Having watched the youngsters compete at the Sports Complex of the Federal University of Technology, FUTA, Ogunode said Nigeria remains blessed with talents that should not be allowed to rot away.

"I saw many that would be the future of Nigeria if programmes are organised to help them and develop the potential they have. If they can keep them together and organise training camps for them, they will shine at the world stage. Ogunode posited

Going forward, Ogunode said he has plans to keep some of the best talents he has discovered together and ready for competitions in the future.

"It is one thing to recognise talent, it is another thing to develop them. What our Foundation will try to do is help nurture the talent we have seen." Ogunode concluded.




Posted on October, 5 2015

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