The Adopt and an Athlete Initiative of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development under the administration of Mr. Sunday Dare has been given a big boost by the African Children Talent Discovery Foundation which adopted two Olympics-bound athletes to contribute its quota to sports development in Nigeria.
Patience George and Elizabeth Ahanacho were both adopted by the Foundation on Friday, 11 June, 2021 during an impressive ceremony at the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development in Abuja.
According to the Minister, Mr. Sunday Dare the Adopt an Athletes initiative came to be 18 months ago after some research on what the major challenges of Nigerian athletes have been over the years which are: lack of welfare and lack of support. Since the government cannot provide all the resources, there is need for a template that will bring about the collaboration between the private sector and the government by creating a pathway for direct funding for Nigerian athletes.
The African Children Talent Discovery Foundation led by Engineer Noah Dallaji decided to adopt Patience George in Athletics and Elizabeth Anyanacho In Taekwondo to the tune of $10,000 each to boost their Olympics preparations.
The Minister, while commending the African Children Talent Discovery Foundation said, “The Ministry is going to use the Chairman of the Foundation, Engineer Noah Dallaji as a sign-post for several other Nigerians who have the capacity and resources to lift a hand in support of Nigerian Athletes not just as we go to the Olympics, but more importantly because it is the way forward for sports development.
“Despite the Covid-19 outbreak that slowed down the world as well as the ryhthm with which the Adopt An Athlete Initiative kick started, I am glad that it has picked up again and as speak today we had about 14 athletes adopted and with another two today making 16 in a timely fashion is a big boost not just to our athletes but to Nigerian sports development and the entirety of the sports community.
“For the first time, we are having Nigerians step forward to invest in our talents and support them to attain podium performances. Therefore, I thank the African Children Talent Discovery Foundation (ACTDF) for this vision, for me it is brilliant and we hope to have a long lasting relationship with the Foundation. Sports Development is not episodal but it entails finding the talents, nurturing them and making them world beaters”.
In his response, the Chairman of the African Children Talent Discovery Foundation, Engineer Noah Dallaji said, “I am just meeting Patience Okon-George for the first time and that’s one of our policies, we adopt based on merit, this is the way to incorporate the young people in every country which makes them channel their energies into positive things which in turn makes the nation at large proud”.
This foundation also has Nigerian sports legends such as Daniel Amokachi, Emmanuel Babayaro, Tijani Babangida amongst others.
Patience Okon-George expressed appreciation to the Minister and the Foundation for birthing the initiative, while making a commitment to keep the Nation’s flag flying for podium performances: “I am very excited because this is what I have been longing for and I promise to make this Foundation and our great country Nigeria proud and I will do my best to get to that podium”.
The money has been paid directly into the account of the athletes