Ogunkoya hails Fashola over Asiodu Foundation
By ‘Tana Aiyejina
Published: Monday, 30 Mar 2009
A former Nigerian quarter miler, Falilat Ogunkoya, has commended the Lagos State Government for inaugurating the Sydney Bialosa Asiodu Foundation.
The former African champion who is involved in the foundation with former national athletes, Henry Amike and Yusuf Alli, to revive Lagos State‘s interest in athletics said it was a morale booster for upcoming athletes.
She said, ”Thank God for a programme like this; we must appreciate our own and that is what is happening in Lagos State with the Asiodu Foundation. It doesn‘t matter where you come from.
“We must move it forward. No matter how much they drag you down, you must still get up and make sure that we put Nigerian athletics back on track and in the map of the world.
“I think when the young athletes see their old heroes being celebrated and remembered, they will be gingered to do more in their career because they know the society which they represent is behind them.”
Proceeds from the foundation will be used to develop athletics in the state and Nigeria but Ogunkoya said that such viable initiatives should get the backing of the private sector.
She said, “We must plead with the private sector so that they can embark on grassroots programmes. Sometimes when you request for sponsorship, they may not want to have a hand in it but they prefer to sponsor athletes to the Olympics.
“But when time comes and there is no Nigerian at the Olympics, what are we going to do? Olympics will still continue.
“We are talking of re-branding; why don‘t we re-brand sports and see what re-branding is all about?”