Press Release by SaveOurSports on National Trials Protest
It has come to our notice that some individuals/group of people are of the impression that SaveOurSports initiative, is behind this protest that took place at the National Trials in Abuja.
First and foremost, we are a group of ex-athletes who have come together to use our resources with the sole objective of helping and supporting upcoming athletes, and no affiliation with the AFN.
Before the National trials, we approached the federation to offer our help in which they suggested that the money we donated should be put into the federation’s account.
Not being comfortable with that arrangement, we decided to approach the athletes’ union who deal directly with the athletes as we would rather have a close contact with the athletes so as to respond promptly to their needs as it arises.
The union said the only help we could offer at that moment was provide accommodation to some athletes as they would not want athletes to be stranded at such an important championship.
This we obliged to willingly by totally paying for the accommodation of over 120 athletes throughout the days of the trials. We did this with no definite intentions or motives of sponsoring or supporting an intended protest by the union.
Though we’re a group of people, it doesn’t take away the fact that each individual members may have their personal motives, of which we may/may not be in support of.
SOS doesn’t monitor each individual members’ activities, as we believe everyone is entitled to their opinion/activities on the affairs of the state of Nigeria Athletics, especially in relation to the AFN and its board members.
But under the umbrella of the NGO, our only aim and objective is to support upcoming athletes which we believe is the bedrock to saving Athletics in Nigeria.
Factually, it should be recorded that the protest did not take place on the first day of the competition, lending credence to our independence of it.
But with the responses we have seen on social media, with some supposed respectable people including active athletes associating our support to the protest and most claiming our political motives behind finding SOS, we are more than disappointed.
In all totality, we are now considering if we are to continue supporting the athletes through this medium, or redirect our energy into other projects. This is because, as it seems, the solution to saving Athletics in Nigeria through whatever genuine means or intentions, can never be appreciated.