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Adopt-a-talent programme yields sponsor for another medal hopeful


Nigeria’s prospect of doing well at the forthcoming Tokyo Olympic Games got a boost yesterday when another athlete was signed on in the Ministry of Sports’ adopt-an-athlete programme.
The beneficiary of the programme this term is Ruth Usoro, a foreign-based track and field athlete.According to Mr. John Joshua Akanji, who is the Special Adviser to the Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, the chairman of Dakinda Football for Every Home Limited, Mr. Emmanuel Akpakwu has signed an agreement to pay $20,000 (about N7.2 million) towards the preparation and participation of Usoro at the upcoming Olympics.

“The documents were signed in the minister’s office at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja,” Akanji said.Usoro features in the 100m, 200m, long jump and triple jump events.

The money will ensure that she is in top shape for the Olympics scheduled for July 24 to August 9 in Tokyo.Speaking on the latest development, Sports Minister, Sunday Dare thanked the donor “for choosing to assist in the development of the Nigerian sports industry by adopting our budding athlete Ms. Ruth Usoro.

“We commend your contributions, as this is the right time move by making your support available as Team Nigeria embark on the voyage of Tokyo 2020 Olympics to strive to make Nigeria proud.”

According to records, various organisations and individuals in support of the minister’s initiative have adopted 14 athletes. Akanji also revealed that the Sports Ministry has chosen Team Nigeria as the adopted name for athletes representing the country at any sports event, adding that only the Ministry can pick athletes for competitions.

Quoting a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Gabriel Aduda, Akanji said the ministry frowned at anyone or group trying to factionalize or hijack Nigerian sports for selfish interests, adding, “Only Team Nigeria is recognized and qualified to represent Nigeria at sports meets.”

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Tokyo Olympic Games
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