25 years after, Chioma Ajunwa Foundation celebrates Olympics gold
• To launch N6 billion sports development centre
Twenty-FIVE years after winning Nigeria’s first Olympics gold medal at Atlanta ’96, Chioma Ajunwa-Opara Foundation is rolling out the drums to celebrate the golden jump.
Chioma Ajunwa-Opara is one of the most celebrated athletes in Nigeria’s sports history. Before she captured the long jump gold at Atlanta ’96 Olympics with a leap of 7.12metres, Ajunwa was a football player and was in the Super Falcons’ squad to the maiden FIFA Women’s World Cup at China ’91.
With the Tokyo Olympics Games around the corner, the Chioma Ajunwa Foundation has lined up a series of activities to celebrate the golden moment.
Speaking in Lagos yesterday, Chioma Ajunwa-Opara, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), said that athletics, football and taekwondo are three sporting events chosen to celebrate the golden jump.
“The Olympic Talent Hunt is for girls between the age of 10 and 17 years. I have not seen an ex-international in Nigeria thinking about having his or her sports facilities. And in Nigeria, the government always protects the stadium more than the athletes, who are supposed to use them. Government will always tell you to train yourself and come for trials. That is what motivated me to build a hostel at Meiran, where the girls will be camped. We will make the Chioma Ajunwa Foundation a reference point in Nigeria’s sports,” she stated.
The Director General of the Chioma Ajunwa Foundation, ex-Olympian, Henry Amike, said yesterday that the Olympics Talent Hunt for girls would hold in Lagos (May 11-13), Abia (May 18-19), Edo (May 28-30), Anambra (June 7-9), Enugu (June 16-18), Ebonyi (23-27) and Imo, her place of birth, (July 6-8) and Abuja (August 16-18). A dinner will hold at the Transcorp Hotel, Abuja on August 19.
The Chioma Ajunwa Foundation will launch an N6 billion ultra-modern Sports Development Centre in Owerri later in the year.
The Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC) endorsed the programme yesterday.
Meanwhile, former Green Eagles striker, Segun Odegbami, who managed Chioma Ajunwa to the golden feat at the Atlanta ’96 Olympics, says determination and passion on the part of the athlete (Chioma Ajunwa) gave Nigeria the gold. “Sadly, I don’t see that kind of determination and passion in our athletes now.
The Chioma Ajunwa Foundation will be one of the biggest things to happen in the history of Nigerian sports,” Odegbami stated.
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