Nigerian Athletes beg for Funds Ahead of Rio 2016
As the federal government continues to delay the funding of Nigerian athletes billed to participate in the Rio 2016 Olympics, some members of Team Nigeria have taken to social media to solicit for funds ahead of the Games scheduled for August 5-21, 2016.
Swallowing their pride, these Nigerian athletes called on well meaning individuals and groups to come to their rescue so that almost four years of preparation wouldn’t go down the drain, Vanguard writes.
Some of them are American-born Nigerian sprinter, Regina George and Nigeria’s fastest man and 100m Champion, Seye Ogunlewe jnr.
George, who specialises in the 400metres and represented Nigeria at the 2012 Summer Olympics tweeted on her handle @DivaOnTheTrack: “To all my family friends and fans thanks for being here for me through the good times and bad times. This year it’s been hard financially for me but it wouldn’t have been possible without your support. I just been told that we will have to pay our own way to the Olympics this year. Sadly this is such short notice for me to come up with the money.
“They (Sports authorities) also promised a refund but I’m still waiting for many refunds promised in the past. I been through a lot of obstacles this year and through it all I made my SECOND Olympic team. I don’t want to stop now after I earned a spot to represent my country (Nigeria) in the Olympics. Any donation will help my situation. This will not go unnoticed and I’m truly grateful for my supporters.”
Help get me to the Olympics https://t.co/Z30w4mjI6w
— ❤regina george❤ (@DivaOnTheTrack) July 22, 2016
So far, she’s got about $640 from spirited donors, and Nigerians have been furious with the government over the deplorable state of affairs. See some of the reactions on twitter…
— Adewale. (@WalePhenomenon) July 22, 2016
@DivaOnTheTrack 😳😳😳 YOU AREN’T GETTING SPONSORSHIP??RIDICULOUS!!!
— sauda (@MSaudatu) July 22, 2016
— tope A (@tope4real) July 22, 2016
— Kayode Ogundamisi (@ogundamisi) July 22, 2016
@DivaOnTheTrack mate Nigeria is shambles as a nation, they can’t even support their own 😔
— Toluwanioshe (@SheaCaramelized) July 22, 2016
Also, Ogunlewe who tweets via @seyeogunlewe said: “Just so every one knows. We all got that message saying we should get our own tickets to Rio, #helpnigerianathletes.”
President Muhammadu Buhari, during the hosting of the Olympics contigent in Aso Villa, promised the release of funds budgeted for the Rio Olympics, but it appears his directive is yet to be acted upon.
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