World and Commonwealth Games 100m hurdles record holder, Tobiloba Amusan, has reiterated the need for athletes to be fully supported in order to get the best out of them.
While Amusan has a working support system due to her global status, the same cannot be said for thousands of other young people whose talents have gone untapped due to a variety of factors, one of which is funding.
The reigning African, Commonwealth, and World 100m Hurdles champion, on Wednesday, opened up on her Facebook page.
After congratulating her Relay teammates on their second Commonwealth Games gold, Amusan charged the appropriate authorities with ensuring athletes receive the support they deserve.
Amusan was drafted into the relay team that included Grace Nwokocha, Favour Ofili, and Rose Chukwuma after winning gold in her hurdles event.
Bringing on the 25-year-old proved to be a wise decision, as Team Nigeria not only won gold but also did so in record time.
She wrote: “Really proud of these young ladies; Grace Nwokocha, Rosemary Chukwuma, Favour Ofili, and Joy Udo-Gabriel.
“They set an African Record at the World Champs and here at the just concluded Commonwealth Games, I joined the team to further break the record, clocking 42.10s.
“Nigerian Athletics is BACK!!! With more support, we will dominate the World.”
Amusan’s post implies that, despite the wild celebrations that have greeted Nigeria’s recent performances at both the World Championships and the recently concluded Commonwealth Games, much more can be accomplished by doing the right thing at the right time.
In a recent interview with PREMIUM TIMES, one of the coaches that helped nurture Amusan into stardom, Ayodele Solaja, harped on the need to get sports policies right from the grassroots.
The coach fondly referred to as Buka T revealed that there are many Amusans waiting to be discovered.
He said; “I think the most important aspect of our sports culture is that the private sector should take over. That is the major thing. That is how it is done where sport excels all over the world. Once the government is in charge, the role of government is more about the organisation but when, for example, I am a private club, the government will not go out of its way to come and sponsor me.
“If an enabling environment is not there for the private sector to come in, then people like us will continue to suffer. Take Tobi, for example.”
He added: Let us bring technocrats who know their onions, who know what is happening so that they can help us to forge the sports forward so that we won’t go one step forward and three steps backward.
“You bring someone and he has to learn on the job and we have gone back three or four steps before he knows his onions he is removed and another person is brought.”
Tunde Eludini is a graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria where he studied International Relations. He is a Senior Correspondent coordinating the sports section for PREMIUM TIMES. Twitter: @tundeyeludini