Gov. Akeredolu launches National Athletic Development Centre in Ondo

Gusau confident NSDFI Olympic-Grant initiative will ensure effective compensation for the Golden League participants in 2019

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Ondo State’s National Athletics Development Centre was launched officially by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on Monday, April 30.

The centre, which has been put in place to flag off the Basic Olive Opportunity Sports Training (BOOST) managed by the Nigeria Sports Development Fund Inc (NSDFI), had its inauguration ceremony held at the Adegbemile Cultural Centre in Akure.

NSDFI targets raising 4.5 million Nigerians to donate N200 each in a bid to, in a bit, bankroll the BOOST program.

Governor Akeredolu, who promised to lend his full support to training exercise, charged sport lovers in the state to raise the funds required to fast track the actualisation of the initiative.

NSDFI Director General, Jide Fashikun explained that the raised funds will be given to 90 elite athletes in five sports to intensify preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

“We are launching a N900million Olympic grants drive for 90 athletes in five sports today,” said Fashikun.

“The code name for the drive is “Be bold. Be human. Be real.” We are only asking 4.5million Nigerians to donate N200.00 to us in 90 days”.

[L-R] Jide Fashikun with Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu

The ex-international handball player also took time to state the immediate plans and aspirations of the training exercise:

“Each of these mentees have a N100,000 support fund. 24 of your kids, the Owena Little League, are leaving for Poland this year to represent the nation”.

“It is about the community and the tomorrow of our children and youths. It is about sports business. In the next one year, if we review this project and it is not running on its own economy and pace, then, all of us have failed”, he stressed.

In his speech at the ceremony, Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) President Ibrahim Gusau stated that the federation has all in place to further attract the private sector to sponsor track and field events.

Gusau also enthused that the program will start yielding positive outcomes in the 2019 Athletic season just as he stated that model will ensure effective compensation for the Golden League participants next year.

“We have worked out modalities for the private sector funding of our sports. This model shall start to yield fruit by the beginning of the 2019 season. This new model will start to impact on the Golden League,” the President said.

“On thing is sure, the entire six legs of the league in 2019 season is a money spinner for participants,” he added.

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