SUPER Eagles Captain Nwankwo Kanu and former Africa’s fastest female sprinter, Mary Onyali-Omagbemi were the toast of the youths in Anambra state at the commissioning of the newly constructed Onitsha North Mini-Stadium by Governor Peter Obi.


The chanting of Papilo, Papilo and Onyali was loud as the youths in the state trooped out to hail their idols. Both Nigerian sports icons are playing Ambassadorial role in the re-birth of sports in the state. They also organized a two -day coaching clinic for the raw talents in soccer and athletics respectively. They believe that their presence would be moral booster that would inspire the youths to choose sports

Said Kanu, “ sports makes everyone happy and keeps our country together. I thank Governor Peter Obi for his grace and vision in handing back soccer to Onitsha and that’s why I wanted to be part of this development.

I am happy to be back here and having people calling me Papilo, papilo. I played in Onitsha here and I know how much they love football. For me coming over here, everybody knows who I’m and what I have done and for the young ones coming up, they are looking up to me, they want to be like Papilo, they want to be like Nwankwo Kanu and they want to play in Europe like me by God’s grace. So I am a good role model for them. By coming down here rather than watching in the television, I believe I’m going to make great impact to them even by seeing and touching me. I believe they will learn a lot from my contact with them”.

In the same vein, Mary Onyali-Omagbemi said she was very elated with the latest re-birth of sports in the state.
She said, “I was born and bred here to be the best I can be and that’s why I want to be part of this effort to raise another Onyali and Chioma Ajunwa in Anambra state.

This is a thing of joy to me because the youths are so dear to my heart. The secret of my success is what I call ‘3-D’ discipline , determination and dedication, with these three D’s you cannever go wrong and they made me what Iam today on and off the track. Youths in Anambra should be happy that Governor Obi is trying to re-engineer sports in the state. The sky is their limit. We are willing and able to work with governor Obi to develop sports in Anambra”.


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