‘Nigeria Is Not Fulfilling Its Potentials In Sports – Sowore
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By Agency Report
A Presidential aspirant in the 2023 general elections and rights activities, Omoyele Sowore, have stayed that the state of Nigeria sports is pitiable.
Sowore who have been in the news for years and an ardent follower of sports, lamented that with over 200 million inhabitants in the country, sports are not giving their pride of place and the potentials are not fully tapped.
“I follow Nigeria’s sports and I’m disappointed Nigeria is not fulfilling its potential in sports. There’s football, swimming, cycling, running, rowing, and every sport that is within the Olympic sphere in Nigeria can participate and excel. I once went for a Nigerian marathon race.
“The organisers couldn’t even run a mile! I’m not discriminating but if you cannot run 5km you should not be organising a marathon. We always put square pegs in round holes. Recently I went to ginger the Super Eagles during their last training before they travelled to Cameroon for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) and I couldn’t believe that the Chief Security Officer wouldn’t let me shake hands with the Super Eagles.
“Of course, I understood why, “because you’re a rebellious anti-government guy, and if we let you take pictures with the Super Eagles we would get into trouble”.
“But this shouldn’t be the case because sports should know no barriers. I think we are losing a lot because we are not achieving or living up to the expectations of our sporting potential in Nigeria.
“I don’t know in which sports in Nigeria that we shouldn’t be participants or be excelling, and that’s heartbreaking.
“And that’s why I think Nigerians should think about leaders who understand the ability to take over sports, technology, education, agriculture, and several other opportunities that are out there for countries to excel; because it feels like in every sector that is doing well in the world today,
“You have about 100,000 Nigerians willing to be at the top but the opportunities are not there, because the people leading Nigerians don’t understand how to take the Nigerian nation and youths to the height that they ought to be.
“That is the problem, but I understand why people keep putting or encouraging these sets of people to be in charge of their affairs. It’s very sad. ‘’
In the last few years, there has been a surge in the number of marathons and road races but for Sowore the number of races we have today is insignificant for a country of 200 million people.
“I actually think there should be a road race in every town, city, and state in Nigeria. We are about 200 million people. I was told that Abuja is setting up a half marathon which comes up in February.
“Apart from that only Lagos has a full marathon. I think there’s somewhere in Edo State where they have a 10k race. We need every city to have that.
‘The US does have that. Where I live in the US which is New Jersey, I go from town to town to attend running events every weekend, and it could do a lot for young people. It is a money-spinner, it is a great health-spinner for everyone and just makes you feel good and makes you feel like it is something you can brag about like “Hey I’m 50, I can run 5km, 10km”.
“In my case, I can do a marathon anytime I’m called upon. In fact, I have plans to run from here (his house) to the airport anytime from now, which is like 37km, which is a few kilometers short of a marathon, just so that I can showcase my ability and expand my capacity to do the impossible.
“I should say this. In 2023 which is the next political election year, I think we should force all the presidential candidates to a 5km race and see who is alive afterwards. If you survive, you are eligible to run. “