Nigeria is a country replete with sporting talents however, the country is yet to aggregate these talents into medal-winning performances at international sports events.
The few young talents that have found themselves at the top have done it through their own hard work, relied on luck with little or no government support and it is adversely affecting our medal hopes at both local and international events.
Academies are littered all of Lagos and Port Harcourt where young talents are groomed for different sports in Nigeria. An interesting twist has been introduced in the grooming of talents by combining sports and education. This is because there is life after sports as some Nigerians sports personalities live in penury despite excelling in their chosen sports. Sports official can visit these academies to poach talents for the team or attend sporting events to identify new talents.
Focus on other sports aside Football
Football is no doubt the king of sports. In Nigeria, a visit to the various viewing centres at the weekend will offer a clear picture of the passion of Nigerians for football. However, the over-reliance on football is affecting other sports. So much Monies are pumped into football and we are yet to get any tangible results. If this trend continues, other sports will suffer and sports talents will have little opportunities to succeed because of lack of opportunities.
Training and personal development
Nigerians virtually self-fund everything they need shelter, security, water, meanwhile the government play little role in providing these amenities. Hence, many Nigerians have decided not to wait for the government. This is same with sports talent. Waiting for the government may be a futile effort. Therefore, personal development and training is advisable. Blessing Okagbare is a very good example. Now that she’s an athletics star, she is now the golden girl of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria.