The Sports Minister Sunday Dare has extolled President Muhammadu Buhari as well as those who have keyed into his Ministry’s Adopt Initiatives.
Four State Governors, a Deputy Governor, some philanthropists and corporate bodies have supported these programmes since inception.
Speaking at Thursday’s Presidential Reception for the Team Nigeria contingents to the 2022 World Athletics Championships and Commonwealth Games, the Minister said the recent successes recorded by Nigerian athletes would not have happened without their support.
His words: “Through the ‘Adopt Initiatives’ being implemented by my Ministry and the support of Mr President, we are witnessing a new trajectory in Nigerian sports and athletes’ performance. Equally significant is the support we have received through approved Presidential Intervention funds for sports even at short notice.
“In like manner, some well meaning Nigerians and philanthropists keyed into our Adopt Initiatives( Adopt an Athlete, Adopt a Pitch and Adopt a Sports Centre). This development provided the fulcrum for the motivation of our elite athletes and the rapid transformation of our sports facilities.”
The Dangote industries Group rehabilitated the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja while Sir Adebutu Kesington is rehabilitating the football pitch and athletics track of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
Dare revealed that forty four(44) athletes have received financial support since the Adopt an Athlete initiative came on board.
He gave the names of those who have given support and played prominent roles in the recent successes recorded as; Governors Ifeanyi Okowa(Delta), Godwin Obaseki(Edo) and Dapo Abiodun(Ogun).
Others are Deputy Governor(Edo) Philip Shuaibu, Engineer Noah Dallaji of African Children Talent Discovery Foundation, Tunde Folawiyo, Halogen Group, Emmanuel Akpakwu (Dakinda), Nigeria Tulip International School, Sifax Group, Premium Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, Fidelity Bank and Access Bank.
At Thursday’s event, the Federal Government announced a cash reward of N200m to Team Nigeria and national honours for thirteen of the athletes.
A detailed breakdown of the cash reward shows that gold medalists got N4.5m each, silver medalists N2.5m and bronze medal winners N1.5m each.
Coaches of medal winning athletes got N1.5m each. Non medal winning athletes and coaches got N600,000 while accredited team officials got N400,000 each.