Mary Onyali Advocates For Sports Facilities Devt.
Former Nigeria Queen of the track, Mrs Mary Onyali has observed that developing sporting facilities was synonymous with youth’s empowerment and development.
The former Olympian made this observation at the closing ceremony of the 4th edition of the National Youth Games, at University of Ilorin, Kwara state, on Sunday.
She said if sports infrastructure were developed the youths will make use of them and discover their talents in sports and as such will become empowered and self-reliant.
Mrs Onyale called on the federal and state governments to intensify actions towards developing sporting facilities in their jurisdiction, adding only when this was achieved that Nigeria will return to its glory days in sports.
She revealed that she feels pained when we continue to sing the song of 1996 Atlanta Olympic which she described as the best ever outing of Nigeria at the world stage in sports, saying there was a dear need to close the gap.
“It hurt me when we still sing the song of Atlanta 96. The gap is too much, 96 to today is over 20 years. We need to close the gap.”
Mrs Onyali who is the Executive Director, Technical, of Nigeria Sports Development Fund (NSDF) Incorporated they want to see Nigeria making an impact in the 2020 Olympic.
She explained that NSDF was initiated by nine of them, all ex-internationals who did the country proud in the past and that the aim was to raise fund to develop athletes that will represent Nigeria in the next Olympic.
Mrs Onyali said they intend to engage four million Nigerians who will donate just N200 each, which will amount to N900 million, adding that 90 athletes were targeted for the project and each of them will be given N10 million.
She said the project was viable and achievable because N200 is not much for someone to donate in the cause of sport.