Youth and Sports Development Minister Mr. Sunday Dare has heaped praises on Mrs. Oby Solaja following the honour bestowed on her as the recipient of the 2019 African Women in Badminton Award.
According to Dare, “I wish to register my profound congratulations to one of Nigeria’s pioneer International Badminton players, Mrs Oby Solaja for her recognition as the winner of the prestigeous BCA award.
“This honour is not only well deserved, but symbolic. Coming at a time when NIgeria has shown committment to the development of Badminton makes it special. This award is not just for you, but one that has made every Nigerian proud.
“This is reward of your committment, hardwork and dedication as a pioneer badminton player, coach and admnistrator. Indeed, it an honour well deserved. I urge you not to relent in using your pole position in the game to further develop the sport in our country. This is also a recogntion of the sterling leadership of the President of the Badminton President Francis Orbih who has displayed astute leadership”.
Solaja becomes the second recipient of the award after South African Gretha Prinsloo who received the award in 2018.
According to the award letter signed jointly by President and Chairperson of BCA: Michel Bau and Meneoang Leshotha respectively, Solaja’s choice was hinged on her enormous contributions to the success of the 2019 All Africa Senior Badminton Championship held in Port Harcourt, her long term achievements
In Nigeria and Africa when she won 3 gold medals in the Africa Senior Championship in 1996: Women Singles, Women Doubles and Mixed Doubles.
Solaja is a seven time African Women Champion, 10 time Nigerian Champion and a piooner player at the Olympics.
During a visit to Nigeria last November, IOC President Dr Thomas Bach had publicly commended Solaja for featuring at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics when Badminton first featured as an Olympic event.
Due to the Covid-19 scourge, the date for the presentation of the award is yet to be decided.