2008 Beijing Olympic bronze medalist, Engr. Chika Chukwumerije has pointed out ways for Team Nigeria to have a podium finish in the future Olympic tournaments.
In a statement marking his 13th year of winning a bronze medal in the Beijing Olympic Games, Chukwumerije stated that he had a tough path on his way to a podium finish.
“The journey was so much more difficult because a nation did not see my abilities or my capacity, nor have a system or infrastructure that could identify and develop my potentials,” he noted.
The 2007 Algiers All Africa Games gold winner in taekwondo however urged sports administrators to provide robust allowances, sports scholarships, quality kitting, and provision for housing and feeding for athletes if they want them to win medals for Nigeria in tournaments.
He further pointed out that training support should be provided for personnel that develops the athlete holistically as well as provision of well-equipped training facilities.
Chika also pointed that athletes should be exposed to state, national and international competitions and be given awards and remunerations at various stages of career development.
He also pointed out that there should be post-career support and guidance, and transforming ageing and former athletes into fresh and energetic sports support personnel.
“Building Champions is so easy, yet so difficult because it requires us to do the simple consistently over many decades.
“We must ‘stop pretending to invest in our future and ‘start investing in our future. Raising quality athletes takes time, effort and resources; and must not have a price tag to it,” he stated.