2008 Beijing Olympics medalist, Blessing Okagbare and one of Africa’s foremost banks, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, believe Nigeria youths have what it takes to excel in life.
Okagbare, who is First Bank’s ambassador to the London 2012 Olympic Games, was the special guest during an interactive session with a group of students at the National Institute for Sports (NIS) charged the students to remain focus in life.
She said: “In life, you have to set goals for yourself and work towards achieving them. At the same time, you have to surround yourself with positive-thinking people and stay focus, even if things are rough. At the beginning of my athletics career, one man told me not to bother myself, saying I was too fragile to run and that I cannot achieve anything from the track but look at where I am today. Whenever I see the man today, I just laugh.
“What I am telling you is that if you set goals for yourself that you will become a banker, you have to work towards making it a reality. As an athlete, you have to be mindful of the type of food you eat to avoid running into the danger of taking substances that contains steroids.
“This is very important because if you are banned, the shame will be on you and not the doctor that recommended the diet. You must also rely on God to help you achieve your goals in life. Nobody can determine your destiny because it is only God that created you that can decide what you will become in life.
The Head, Human Capital Management and Development of First Bank Nigeria Plc, Ayodele Jaiyesinmi, said the Olympics values meant a lot to the financial institution and this was what prompted the company to be part of the games.
She said: “Bringing someone like Okagbare, who is young and has achieved so much for the country is really to inspire the young ones. Our message with the engagement of Okagbare is that we believe in young people, future and destiny of this country.
We also believe in celebrating our young people and bringing Okagbare here is to help us to draw the attention to youth development and sports. For Okagbare to have won bronze medal at the Olympics despite her age and her presence will surely inspire the young ones by sharing her experience with them.”