Financier of O’jez Sports Academy, Joseph Odobeatu, has revealed plans of an integrated talent development system including a programme of international competitions and exchange for young athletes on his stable.
Odobeatu made the disclosure on Monday during a reception for members of the O’jez Table Tennis Club who produced exciting performances and great result at the recently concluded 47th Asoju Oba Table Tennis Championships.
The event which held at the O’jez Chinese Restaurant, National Stadium, Lagos, also saw Nollywood stars led by former president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Ejike Asiegbu, endorse the O’jez Sports Academy project with a pledge to partner with the management and also support and mentor the athletes.
Odobeatu presented cash rewards his players and coaches who won in various categories of the Asoju Oba Table Tennis Championship, being their first major competition as a club. The highest reward of N50,000 went to Ahmed Adeyinka, winner of the Men’s Singles event.
Recall that O’jez players seized the stage in the Championships winning six gold, five silver and two bronze medals. The Sports Academy also showed promise in the cadet category with Ayanwale Jamiu adjudged the Most Valuable Player for boys.
Odobeatu, the club chairman and also promoter of O’jez Entertainment and music label said the presentation was just a way of showing appreciation to the players and coaches, assuring them of more support on their development.
“Our plan is to run an academy that will nurture and provide a steady stream of players that can make our country proud in international competitions and their professional sports career. We will provide them technical training and exposure through various in-house and international exchange programme. We are starting next year by instituting a yearly inter competition with our club in Ghana.
We will sustain and expand it. We also wish that other corporates will emulate what we are doing, to invest in and develop our sports talents for the glory of our country.”
Odobeatu said the O’jez Sports Academy shall also include the development of athletes in swimming, track and field, boxing and football.