President of the Nigerian Olympians Association (NOA), Olumide Oyedeji presided over an executive meeting at the National Stadium in Lagos on Thursday to discuss plans for the year and their four-year tenure.
Members of the NOA present were Olumide Oyedeji (President), Lawrence Musa (Sec.Gen), Bose Kaffo (Asst. Sec Gen), Chioma Ajunwa (Treasurer), Aminat Adeniyi (Financial Secretary) and Suliana Akinrin (welfare). The trio of Chika Chuwkumerije (VP1), Deji Aliu (VP2) and Isa Adams (PRO) couldn’t make it due to some national engagements.
Oyedeji (above) outlined the aim and objectives of the Nigerian Olympians Association in 2019 and all through their tenure.
“Our goal during our tenure is to build a national data base, increase public awareness of Olympian association, research and welfare of national Olympians, increase international participation, build stronger ties with the National Olympic Committee (NOC) and other federation and building NOA financial structure to have proper accountability. We will also build relationships with investors and organise award nights to honour our heroes, conduct seminars, and humanitarian work.”
Work is expected to begin across the geo-political zones with effect from May in the South West, South-South and South East in June and July respectively. It will be extended to the North West, North East and North-Central in August, September and October.
Oyedeji said awareness will be created to recognise and honour all Olympians in Nigeria.
“Part of what we are going to do is to get across to every Olympian all over Nigeria and have a proper data base. We are creating awareness to recognise our Olympians from previous years even from the first Olympian like our anthem says “the Labour of our heroes past shall never be in vein” so we don’t want our heros and their labour to be in vein,” he said.
“We will get across to families of those who passed away, mentor the younger athletes and improve the lives of our Olympians during and after the sport because there is always life after sports.”
The former D’Tigers captain mentioned committees that will be formed to ensure their goals are achieved.
“We are coming up with different committees to help make this a reality because we can’t do it alone and come out with effective results. The committees include: marketing, technical, event and planning, finance, media and publicity, women and youth development and security committee. These are the committees we will be working with for the next four years,” he revealed.
The Vice Chairman of the Lagos State Basketball Association disclosed that the NOA will come up with a programme targeted at harnessing talents across the country.
“We are coming up with a programme called “building up champions”, it is about building the next Olympic champions. It will not just be one kind of sport but all sports.”
Meanwhile, Atlanta 1996 Olympic Gold medallist Chioma Ajunwa believes the presence of the NOA will be felt in Nigeria through their programmes and humanitarian activities.
“It is a new dawn for Nigerians this is the time Olympians association will now be known all over the world. We have been left in the background for too long but now we are coming out in a big way with wonderful plans and hoping we are alive to actualise these plans. We are going to try to amend certain things. We are going to make judicious use of this opportunity to make sure we are pace setters. We are not coming to fight anyone but stay focused and united just as we are in our uniform today to help our colleagues who have not been able to speak out.”