There is a biblical saying of ‘Ask and it shall be given unto you’ and this is the story of Nigerian athletes at the moment. You would recall that this month, the Nigerian athletes have received massive attention on social media platforms over issues affecting them.
Divine Oduduru started the trend with the interview he granted reporters at The National trials in Sapele where the World Junior medalist called on corporate bodies to come to the aid of Nigerian athletes. US based athlete, Regina George also received attention just last week when she created a GoFundMe account to solicit for funds after she received a mail that she would have to pay her ticket to Rio for the Olympics. Many tongues went wagging as most people suggested that its uncalled for that athletes representing a country would have to pay their ticket. Though it was later resolved as the AFN Secretary General reassured the foreign based athletes of their ticket in a mail he sent over the weekend.
Meanwhile Nigeria’s fastest man, Seye Ogunlewe took to his twitter handle to express his dismay and also plea to corporate bodies to come to Nigerian athletes rescue.
It would interest you to know that these pleas have finally reached the ear’s of a sport loving bank. Union bank which is one of Nigeria’s oldest bank has stepped in to help resolve the situation.
“We see sport as one of the areas of our corporate social responsibility. We are contributing our quota towards developing the skills of our athletes. We are not new in this venture; we are helping in boosting the moral of our athletes. In Nigeria we depend solely on the government and this ought not to be so.”
“We are going to ensure that Nigerian athletes in Rio are happy all through the Games,’ said Mrs Ogochukwu Ekezie-Ekaiden.
She said that the 30million would be in two part as N25 million would be for the athletes while 5 million for the NOC’s logistics for the Games.
Mrs Ogochukwu also listed the names of 5 Nigerian athletes who would be members of Team Union Bank.
“They are Divine Oduduru(200m), Seye Ogunlewe(100m), Regina George(400m), Odunayo Adekuruoye (Wrestling) and Hannah Babalola(T54 100m).”
Regina George took to her Instagram page to thank the her new sponsor. “Thank you Union Bank @unionbankng #TeamUnion”
She also posted “Union Bank coming through for me! And making Nigeria stronger since 1917. Smarter banking, smarter life, smarter athletes”
The deal will last for a year and we only hope it would be renewed afterwards.
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