Africa’s foremost women quarter-miler, Falilat Ogunkoya, and Nigeria record holder in long jump, Yussuf Alli, have urged corporate Nigerians and the wealthy to support sports by sponsoring championships and other sporting events aimed at discovering and nurturing young talents.
Speaking at the final of Athletics Federation Nigeria Golden League, sponsored by Kingsley Kuku, a special adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, in Akure over the weekend, Ms. Ogunkoya said if corporate Nigeria and wealthy Nigerians emulated Mr. Kuku by supporting sports, they would be creating employment for many youth, and combating crime.
“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,” she said. “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.”
The technical manager of the Golden League, Mr. Alli, shared similar sentiments.
“Studies have shown that there are three way societies can help children of the down trodden,” he said. “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 like of Hon. Kuku to assist masses and use sports to solve socio-economic problem.”