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Akeredolu to launch National Athletics Development Centre on Monday

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Fashikun, Onifade, Chief Onyali (left) and Idowu Akinwunmi (right)

Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Olurotimi Akeredolu, will on Monday 30th April launch the National Athletics Development Centre in Akure, which is to signal the Basic Olive Opportunity Sports Training (BOOST) managed by the Nigeria Sports Development Fund Inc (NSDFI).

According to a statement issued from Abuja, the Director General of NSDFI, Olajide Fashikun explained that the community lottery programme will be sold in all parts of Ondo State and Offa in Kwara State which has the Ruth Ogbeifo-Balofin weightlifting centre.

The ceremony will hold at the Adegbemile Cultural Centre in Alagbaka in Akure. It will also be expected that the Governor will also launch off the 90-days Olympic Grant where we want to raise 4.5million Nigerians to donate N200. The raised funds will be given to 90 elite athletes in five sports to intensify preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The former Zamalek SC of Egypt handball player said, “with the launch, we shall aggressively market the project to Nigerians. On a daily basis, we shall give account of how much is raised. It is feasible and possible. That way the athletes will be motivated to work harder to make the nation compete favourably in international sports.”

Fashikun added “each athlete will get N10m this year and in 2019. Of these sum, N5million will be for them to attend international championships of their choice that will help in promoting their preparation. They will enjoy living allowance of N50,000 monthly, N500,000 for kitting and equipment, N300,000 for supplement, N400,000 for the four mentees that will grow under them, N180,000 for annuity plan, they will have comprehensive insurance cover while their personal coach will earn N1million yearly.

However, in the Olympics, if they win bronze the athlete will get N5million, Silver will get N7.5million and Gold will get N10million.

On the Akure project, the Director General said, “we are employing community lottery to raise the funds. Weekly, N10.85million will be won by 1,000 patrons. Tickets that did not win during the four weeks of a month are entitled to be drawn in the special monthly draw worth the same cash value and the star prize of a brand new G-20 Innoson Wagon car will be won.”

At optimum value, about 5,000 people will be fully and gainfully employed in the programme which will be driven by the communities in the host state. Each region of the nation will have a centre.

There will be four centres of sports excellence. Swimming will be in Rivers State, Wrestling will be in Yenagoa in Bayelsa State, the Shaibu Amodu Centre will be in Edo State and the Middle and Long Distance will be in Plateau State.