Ogunjimi Lucas, a Professor of Human Kinetics and Health Education and a specialist in Athletic Training and Health Education has hailed the current plans by Mobil Producing Nigeria to camp and train Secondary schools athletes during the forth coming holiday period.
Holder of the Lecturer 1 License of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) since 2007., Professor Ogunjimi sees this as the beginning of a bright future for track and field in the country.
“ Permit me to join a lot of athletics buffs to celebrate what Mobil is about to do with secondary schools athletes in Akwa Ibom. If we do this regularly, through out the country, then we are soon going to be guaranteed a pool of young and talented athletes well brought up to excel” He said.
The first Nigerian to obtain the Area Technical Official (ATO) License of the IAAF and currently a Technical Officials Training Consultant to the Athletics Federation of Nigeria., Professor Ogunjimi hopes that the best coaches will be engaged and the students handled in such a way that even when they leave camp, they will be monitored continually for optimum results.
“ For us to reap from this exercise, we should put together a mechanism that will continually track the athletes especially those that will distinguish themselves during the training period” He said.
The only Anglophone West African on the IAAF 2012 – 2014 Panel of Area Technical Officials for Africa, Professor Ogunjimi said he will be delighted to be involved in seeing the students through their first basic introduction to track and field.
In another development, Coach Gabriel Okon, the current President of the Track and Field Coaches Association of Nigeria has thrown its weight behind the exercise scheduled for August. “ My only regret is that at that period I will be away to Moscow for the Athletics World Cup, if not I would not have missed this land mark event for anything”
Coach Okon, described by Athletics President Chief Solomon Ogba as “…one of the best coaches in Nigeria today” was speaking in Abuja where he is currently training some National Athletes that will feature in Moscow.
The coaches’ boss believes that the Mobil programme which is a graduation of the yearly Championship should be emulated, hailed, sustained and designed in such a way that it is not made a one off thing.
“ Mobil’s track record of support for Athletics is global, so Nigeria should not be an exception. How I wish this programme was national. It is such a massive and huge step in the right direction” He insisted.