By Ben Efe
Nigerian youth athletes who did the country proud, at the Commonwealth Youth Games last July in Samoa Island have asked to be included in the list of sports men and women to be hosted by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 21.
The athletes won 11 medals and placed seventh out of the 40 nations that participated in the Games. This was despite the discomfort they faced during preparations and the competition. While in camp, the athletes and their coaches did not receive any upkeep allowance.
“The athletes deserved to receive recognition for their efforts at the Games. They made a whole lot of sacrifices. It was a tedious journey to Samoa. Almost three days of transit and flying over seas .
“We went there with only nine athletes, and we were able to win 11 medals. The athletes over stretched themselves, we even converted a boxer to run the relays.
“ We need to appreciate these young athletes, even if it is just a handshake with the President, it will encourage them a lot,” said coach Seigha Porbeni, who was with the team in Samoa.
President Buhari will host the FIFA Under-17 winning the Golden Eaglets, the Flying Eagles who won the 2015 Africa Youth Championship, the Olympic Eagles who won U-23 African Nations Cup, Africa Games medalists, D’Tigers who won a first-ever Afrobasket Championship to qualify for the Rio Olympics and Wellington Jighere who won the world scrabble championship.