The Nigerian International Athletes Association, NIAA, has scheduled its 2016 convention for October in California, USA.
The convention, among other things, will focus on the state of athletics in Nigeria according to the association’s President, Grace Apiafi.
NIAA is a union of former Nigerian athletes based in the United States.
The association’s current president, Apiafi, was a shot put and discus thrower during her career.
She represented Nigeria at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. She is currently a Professor in the Health Science Department, Pasadena City College, California.
Apiafi said the NIAA is worried that Nigeria today still struggles with the development of talented young athletes.
“The last Olympic was an eye-opener for us all. This is a time for action and NIAA is ready to lead the charge and we need the support of all stakeholders in athletics. There are a number of ways to make an impact on improving the standard of education, sports and health care in Nigeria,” the NIAA boss stated.
Apiafi revealed that the 2016 NIAA Banquet and Gala will bring together some of the most influential minds in the area of medicine, coaching, and athletics.
She also disclosed that the event will be used to raise funds and accept donation in kind to support kids from disadvantaged homes with their education and help talented young athletes to combine sports and education.
“This convention is a significant fundraiser for NIAA to be effective in making the necessary changes needed to improve sports and education in Nigeria and around the Africa.
“Beyond making the impact on the future of the youth, the gala is a fun-packed event with great entertainment, live-band, singers, music and dancing.”
Apiafi said this is an opportunity to enjoy the company of friends and to meet new people who are united in the mission of making necessary changes to the lives of talented but socio-economically disadvantaged youth in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.
She also revealed that NIAA will honour four physicians and a former college coach.
“Our goal is to recognize their accomplishments and honour them for the exemplary services that have positively influenced the lives of several individuals here and abroad,” she said.