Some of the junior athletes that made Nigeria proud at the recent African junior championships in Mauritius have been offered the chance to study in the United States as a way of boosting their academic and athletics development.
According to Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN president, Solomon Ogba, there has been a myriad of offers for the up and coming youngstars and the federation was very disposed to having these athletes move to the USA as the Nigerian educational system will most likely thwart their career progress. He added that the athletes are being helped to get good scores in the American College Testing (ACT) and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), which have often posed an obstacle to prospective Nigerian athletes.
Some of the promising juniors include Divine Oduduru, who ran a 21.19 personal best in the 200m, Omezia Akerele, a 400m runner whom many athletics enthusiasts have compared to Clement Chukwu and have tipped the young lad to go far. There is also Ese Brume, Ada Benjamin and other high performing junior female athletes. “Our juniors have received scholarship offers from American unive-rsities. But they need to get good scores in the ACT and SAT and we are helping them in that regard,” said Ogba. “It is our conclu-sion that they need to be in that environment to get to the world level. It is in the USA most Jamaican athletes train.
“Besides our educati-onal system cannot support the aspirations of these youngsters. This is because we have several distraction like strikes and all that will not allow the athletes to concentrate,” the AFN boss added.