The Alafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, is sad that the standard of sports development has dwindled so badly that these days no Nigerian is outstanding in the global stage and is so happy that some former Nigerian international athletes have decided to take the fate of the nation’s glory in their hands.
The Alaafin thanked his subject, Aruna Quadri, the table tennis prodigy, for remembering that he can use his own community development programme to raise new generation of athletes.
Oba Adeyemi, who will be 80 years by January 2019, will formally launch the project to be named after the Germany-based table tennis star, during the anniversary of his birthday.
Oba Adeyemi said this when he received the delegation of the Nigeria Sports Development Fund Inc, led by the Director General, Olajide Fashikun, and the Executive Director (Technical), Chief Mary Onyali.
The revered monarch thanked Onyali for “your many outings which keeps me glued to the television those days. Tell Innocent Egbunike, Chioma Ajunwa and Nduka Odizor that I am waiting to receiving them in my palace.
“I will as a monarch, as my person and as an athlete support the Elite Athlete Development Grant project.
“You don’t know how much joy this project has brought to my heart.
“Now, I can be more confident that the athletes you will give the grants will work harder and be so disciplined to bring so much glory to this country.
“Whoever will make this dream possible will be reached.
“I will personally lead you to everywhere and anywhere we shall raise the fund.
“I can see far beyond where you, the initiators, are looking.
“For once, the beneficiaries will feel so honoured to be great Nigerians.
“This support structure will fire them to a hilt.
“I see some miracles in some of the athletes. I am so happy for this great visit.
“I also wish and will demand for any of the athletes who will get the grant understand what it takes you people to raise these monies.
“They most be focused, disciplined, eschew doping, re-energise their selves and see how the medals will be tumbling in in Tokyo.”