Vanguard (Lagos)

8 December 2012

Nigeria: Ojokolo Roots for Grassroots Coaching

Former national sprinter, Endurance Ojokolo stated that she was desirous of arming herself with the requisite qualification and training that will make her one of Nigeria's best grassroots coach.

The Delta-born athlete argued that she was doing so because the country was currently lacking in the area of grassroots development of athletes, hence the seeming decay.

"Grassroots coaching, that is one area we need to focus on. We need to bring up athletes if we are to return to the path of glory.

During my time, there were all kinds of junior competitions. It was from those competitions that a whole lot of athletes like myself emerged and we had coaches and administrators who knew what it took to develop an athlete.

This is why I'm eager to get IAAF certification to specialize in grooming of kids. There is so much talents around the country. Instead of organizing meaningless sports retreats and seminars that will end up enriching certain individuals, we should get down to the basics of developing our athletes.

She added that ex-internationals should refocus their energies in grooming young athletes.

"It will be very nice to see our top athletes like Mary Onyali, Yusuf Ali, Falilat Ogunkoya going into coaching or doing something to help the process. All I can see are former athletes, just milling around when there is so much to be done.

"With our names, you can just imagine what kind of impact we will have on the kids. Nigeria gave so much to us and I feel that it is our duty to give back to the kids coming behind," said Ojokolo, who is Rivers State sprint coach.

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