Reactions have trailed the Award Night hosted by the Federal Ministry of Sports for athletes who performed well in 2017. Some national athletes speaking with aclsports.com expressed happiness over the recognition by the Federal Government of Nigeria, while others were dissatisfied over arrangements.
Taiwo Mati, an African Table Tennis junior champion said the award will spur him to achieve more feats in 2018.
Mati wrote “I feel very excited and so much happy. My target is to put more effort and to train harder, so that I will be able to win more medals for Nigeria at the African Youth Olympics in Argentina.
Uzoamaka Otuadima who won a Silver medal at the 2017 Korea Open said she’s proud to be an athlete.
Otuadima on her Facebook page wrote, “Sports is good, I am proud to be an Athlete. This award was given to me by the minister of sports, Solomon Dalung himself. It was a great night”.
The first African to become a Wushu Champion, Henry Hendrix said the Federal Government eventually remembered him after three years.
Henrix said, “I was remembered today. The Federal Government of Nigeria remembers my handwork which is sport at the “Award Night”. Up Team Nigerian, Wushu for Life”.
Meanwhile, some athletes who spoke on the condition of anonymity expressed displeasure over the organisation of the event.
The athlete said, “it was not so nice coming to the state capital and all the sports ministry could give us was N30,000.00 as transport fare. Is that the price we get to take for training so hard, under the sun and in the rain”?
Another athlete said, “Some of the players present were crying because they boarded flights thinking the Award Night will be followed by cash prizes. No one is happy; I must be frank with you”.
“Spending 12 hours on the road from Lagos to Abuja is too long and not safe for us that don’t have money for flight. The Federal Government should kindly treat us well because we are medal producing athletes. Some of us here will represent the country at the Africa Youth Olympics, Commonwealth Games and other international events this year”, another athlete noted
Aclsports.com gathered that athletes that won laurels at the 2015 All African Games in Brazzaville, Congo were not incorporated into the award night.