Nigeria Weightlifter Emmanuel Appah Bags Degree In Physics From FUTMinna Niger State

Nigeria Weightlifter Emmanuel Appah Bags Degree In Physics From FUTMinna Niger State

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By Amaechi Agbo

Nigeria weightlifter, Emmanuel Inemo Appah has bagged a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) Degree in Physics from the Federal University of Technology, FUTMINNA, Minna, Niger State.

The 23 year-old graduated with Second Class Honour after undergoing a five-year engineering course in the Physics Department.

The Africa champion spoke extensively with the Nigeria Weightlifting Federation, NWF Media crew on his experiences in school, challenges in combining sport and education as well as motivations.

“Physics is related to my career choice in sports, weightlifting. Physics offers deep understanding of our natural world and provides insight into complex situations.

“It is a mental field of study, same as weightlifting sport. Weightlifting is mental draining and you have to remain focused to succeed. Any miscalculation in the sport will bring you crashing to zero. So, both are similar, hence my choice.” he said.

On combining sport and education, the former World Junior Champion said it’s by the grace of God which saw him through and the help of his friends “It was God all through, because everyone complained I had no time for them nor for myself. It was tough, because immediately after class, I will get refreshment and proceed to training.

“During competition, my state or federation would send letter of release to my school, and they would grant me leave to participate in the competition. Once the competition is over, I would report back to school before exam period.

“It’s never easy. I have friends who tutor me before test and exams because I had to meet up with lost grounds in lectures. I call them my helpers because they are always there for me. Each time I am going for a competition, they would pray for me and will celebrate with me when I come back with medals. They made everything easy for me.”

He noted that shuttling between lectures and training especially during competition is never an easy experience for him

“There was no 100% concentration. I always had limited time in training but I was always motivated to compete. The key factor is that I have passion for the weightlifting and studying Physics. It made things much easier for me, though.

“At my 500level, (final year) it was a big challenge as I was attending lectures and writing my project at the same time. At a point too, I was also denied access to the state gym as I no longer compete for them. I returned to my state to compete for them.”

He spoke on the importance of the certificate and life after sports

“There is life after sports. Sporting career is not a long life venture. You spend few years on the stage and then you are out. So the question is, what happens after sports?

“My education or certificate is a backup plan for me. I believe that someday I will leave the stage and would want to start a new life. This certificate will give me the leverage.

“Sports is a stepping stone to a higher ground, not a stationary point. Most of our national athletes that believe education/certificate is not important, where are they today?

“Our coaches encourage us to go to school and acquire knowledge. They shared their experiences with us in training and it is wise that we listened to them.

“Again, certificate in education gives you an advantage over other athletes. As sports persons we should be concerned about our lives after active sports and one of the easiest way to safeguard the future is through education.

“When we can no longer perform, what next? Putting blame on the federation and the state or even the federal government at the same time? We dont even have the needed environment for sports development in the country, nurturing and grooming young athletes not to talk of welfare packages for aged athletes. That is why education would bridge this gap in terms of having something to fall back on when we retire from active sports.”

Emmanuel Inome Appah hails from Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State has won several continental and global laurels including one gold medal at the 2021 Africa championship in Kenya, three gold medals at the 2022 National Sports Festival in Asaba; three gold medals at the 2019 All African Games, among others.

He competes in the 61kg men category. By next year, he is expected to move to 67lg category.

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