Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun has rewarded the best African Badminton player, Dorcas Adesokan, with a cash prize of N5 million for her outstanding performance in the game.
Presenting the cheque on Tuesday in Abeokuta, the governor, represented by the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Afolabi Afuape, said the money was meant to boost Adesokan’s career and encourage her.
He said that such achievement should not go “un-recognised”, saying that athletes such as Adesokan needed constant flow of income to survive.
Amosun also said it was for the same reason that she was given an automatic employment in December 2017.
The governor also said the money would assist in preparing Adesokan for the upcoming 2020 Olympics and other international competitions.
He said: “Presently, Adesokan is the best badminton player in Africa and I want to encourage other athletes to emulate and follow her footstep.
“The present administration will continue to support outstanding athletes who have gone all out to make the state proud.
“Beyond that, the Ministry of Youth and Sports in collaboration with the state Sports Council will continue to discover more talents, monitor and nurture them to stardom.”
He also assured that the state government would not rest on its oars to discover more talents, nurture and monitor them to stardom.
Responding, Adesokan thanked the governor for his gesture and commended the ministry for its support in nurturing her to her current level.
She promised that the money would be used judiciously, saying that it was a great booster toward her preparations for the Olympics.
She said: “This money will be a great booster to my career and toward the preparation for the upcoming 2020 Olympic.
“I will like to appreciate the Governor, the Commissioner, the Director of the Sports Council and in particular, my coach for being able to discover me on time.’’
The athlete also lauded them their effort in tracking and monitoring her progress.
Also speaking, the Head Coach of Badminton, who doubles as Adesokan’s coach, Adewale Olasunkanmi, commended her for her consistency, hard work and focus.
Olasunkanmi commended the governor for the financial support to the athlete and urged other athletes representing the state in one sporting activities or the other to be up and doing.
He also called on them to focus on their sporting activities as well as emulate the outstanding performance of Adesokan.
He said: “She has been so consistence, very cool-headed and a hardworking player, who is very focused in all she does.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Adesokan had played in Kenya International Series 2013 where she won gold and bronze medals, in Benin Republic competition with 2 gold medals and bronze.
At the All African Senior Championship (South African 2017), she got three bronze medals and won two Gold medals at the Mutual Benefit Assurance National Badminton Championship (Lagos 2017).