Usifo recalls Los Angeles ‘84 memory as CSED celebrates Olympic Day
Los Angeles ’84 Olympian, Maria Usifo, was on hand to mentor some children and youths when Community Sport and Educational Development (CSED) Initiative celebrated Olympic Day with residents of IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) Camp Uhogua, Edo State.
The Olympic Day celebration was done in collaboration with the Nigeria School Sport Federation (NSSF) and the Association of former Female Athletes of Nigeria (AFFAN).
Usifo, who represented Nigeria at Los Angeles ‘84 and Seoul ‘88 Olympic Games, told the children what it takes to become a future Olympian.
She advised them to shun drug abuse and work hard in school while pursuing the benefits of sport.
Usifo said apart from helping children and youths to develop a healthy mind in a healthy body, participating in sports could provide them with future employment opportunities, as well as the chance to get scholarship opportunities to study in higher institutions in Nigeria and abroad.
Usifo, a former hurdler and quarter-miler, who is a product of the once functional school sports system in Nigeria in the 1970s, said athletics gave her the choice of choosing from 10 foreign universities following her excellent performance at the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Australia in 1982.
“To become an Olympian is tough, but it is an achievable task which anyone can attain through hard work and support from their coaches and sports administrators,” Usifo said.
Four sporting events were held to celebrate Olympic Day. They were cricket (male and female sessions), badminton (male and female sessions), netball and U-13 football game.
The Trustees of CSED, who were represented by former Super Eagles winger, Edema Fuludu, (CSED National Coordinator), reiterated their determination to continue to use sports as a tool for social integration, empowerment of the girl child, health promotion, raising awareness of the negative impact of drug abuse in Nigeria.
Fuludu said CSED Initiative will continue to advocate the importance of children and youths being supported to take part in sport in a safe environment, as well as to take the benefits of sport to hard to reach and displaced children in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria.
Also speaking on behalf of the management of the camp, Pastor Evelyn Ekhator thanked Maria Usifo for sharing her Olympic Games’ experience with the residents of the camp.
Ekhator also commended leaders of the three collaborating sports for change NGOs (CSED Initiative, NSSF and AFFAN) for using the Olympics Day, an event that is celebrated worldwide, to visit the IDPs Camp Uhogua.
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