The Nigeria Olympians Association (NOA) on Thursday rolled out programmes for 2023 with this year’s summit coming up in July and holding in Abuja.
Speaking at Media Parley inside FIFA Goal Project Hall, Package B, Moshood Abiola Stadium Abuja on Thursday, the General Secretary of the Association and an Olympic gold medallist Emmanuel Babayaro (MON) said NOA would be eager to focus on the welfare of Nigerian athletes both present and past with a bid to inspire the young ones and honoured the past Olympians. This according to him will be heralded by honouring the past Olympians when the Nigeria Olympians Association Summit coming up in July holds Abuja.
“I am here to intimate the media with plans for the Nigeria Olympians Association. Babayaro said.
“Customarily, every two years, we have the Olympians Association Summit. The summit is a forum that allows every Olympian from inception till date, probably the future athletes, wherever they live anywhere in the world to converge here in Nigeria and fly the country’s flag once more time.
“We also come together to do a lot of humanitarian works, in line with the Olympian spirit, to celebrate the spirit of the Olympics.
“And see how we can develop or further improve the conditions of our sports especially the grassroot sector. And this year is no exception. We had it two years ago, and it’s 2023’s turn. The event starts from the 11th of July to end on the 14th of the same month.
“The main event will be on the 13th of July. And that is the day of the banquet, and celebration of life, and awards to the deserving and meritorious individuals.
Nigeria Olympians Association President and former Nigeria’s National Basketball Team Captain, Olumide Oyedeji, hit the ground running while reeling out their programmes for 2023 to journalists.
An excited Olumide Oyedeji told journalists that the new executives are willing to impact the lives of past and present Olympians with laudable activities cum programmes that would be staged across the country.
He started by appreciating individuals and corporate organisations that supported NOA two years ago before unveiling programmes for the year.
“We are here to lay out the plans for this year’s Olympic summit coming together. Just like we had two years ago, it was a wonderful one.
“I want appreciate those who supported us two years ago, the ACTDF, Bet9ja, Dr. Larry Echejile, and Ambassador Ronsewe, to the DG of art and culture, the Nigeria Olympic committee, ministry of Youth & Sports, and also NTA.
“This year, there are going to be a lot of exciting things. And we are having on the 11th, 12th, and 13th for the Olympian Summit. And on the 12th, it would be the first time the Nigeria Olympian Association will be having a co-session with Nigeria Olympian Committee Athletes Commission. Talking about a lot of things relating to athletes and Olympics.
“And on the last day, there’s going to be a gala night which is already been tagged ‘The Labour of our Heroes past’.That’s where we would award the Olympians who have contributed and still contributing tremendously to the development of the sports and the Olympian society.
“And we are also promoting the spirit of Olympics, Olympian for humanity, and all other related things.
“The last time, we had a couple of our members, all the way from Germany, Funke Osunaike, Fatima Yusuf, Patricia Patrick, to mention but a few.
“We are looking forward to have more of them this year. But during the course of this year’s summit, we are definitely going to have our congress, mentorship, gathering about a thousand students.
“Young Olympians, future champions, as we have a program called ‘Building of champions’.
“Building for the future, nurturing them, and contribute to their lives mentally, psychologically, emotionally, intellectually, and socially.
“We use this opportunity to ask for a lot of support, because we can’t do it alone. Because as we know, this is a group of people that have served the country.
“So as we say whenever we recite the national anthem on the podium, we quote ‘to serve Nigeria with all our strength’.
“Which we did, by bringing honors, and glories to this country, and we believe we should be celebrated. And we are saying we want people to come and celebrate with us.
“So we need your support in every single aspect. He concluded.