Victor Nwangwu, long time Secretary-General of Anambra State Football Association, has commended Governor Willie Obiano for designating Nigerian sprinter, Mary Onyali as Anambra Sports Ambassador.
Nwangwu said on Wednesday in Awka that he hoped that it would mark the beginning of revival of sporting spirit in the state.
The sports administrator said the recognition given to Onyali was in order as she was a product of school sports and rose from national limelight to world stage.
The veteran called on the state government to revive School Sports which was the pivot of Anambra’s success in every aspect of sports, adding that Onyali’s recognition should not be mere pronouncement but backed with a programme to maximise the potential of youths.
He said: “To honour Onyali is to recognise that she’s a product of school sports, there were also Innocent Egbunike, Ezinwa brothers and Chidi Imo among others, our strength was then in athletics, football and other team sports.
“I remember it as if it was yesterday, the pretty bright and young teenage speedster burning the local tracks of Enugu Campus Stadium used as temporary stadium by Anambra State Sports Council of old.
“I therefore, heartily commend the recognition of our own Queen of the tracks, African champion and an Olympian of so many Olympiads.
“Let’s hope that from a promotional action, Mary Onyali will ignite further actions that will lead to real sports development in our schools, I am really excited and applaud the initiative.
“I remember former governor Peter Obi did a similar thing on the day he commissioned the Chuba Ikpeazu Stadium, Onitsha, that Mary along with Kanu Nwankwo graced the occasion and that was it.”
Nwangwu said honouring former sports heroes was a way to go, as it would spur young athletes to give their best to their state and country.
Meanwhile, some athletes and coaches who attended the 2014 National School Sports Festival in Otukpo, Benue, have called on Obiano to receive them as he did some people, as they were the first team to win laurels for Anambra under his administration.
They urged him to investigate what happened between the defunct Ministers of Sports and Education to unravel why the contingent that achieved the best record for the state in the competition had yet to be received five years after.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Anambra finished second behind Cross River on the medals table after clinching 82 gold, 103 silver and 119 bronze medals at the game held from November 6 to November 16, 2014.
Obiano appointed the five time Olympian and two time Olympic bronze medalist as Anambra Sports Ambassador during the reception held for Anambra contingent to 2018 National Youth Games and National Sports Festival.