Akani faults Nigeria’s reliance on US Collegiate system


Johnny Edward

Making of Champions CEO, Bambo Akani, has warned against the over-reliance on the US Collegiate system to train Nigerian athletes, The PUNCH reports.

The US Collegiate system over the years has developed athletes from Nigeria, who have gone on to become global icons.

Tobi Amusan, Divine Oduduru, Blessing Okagbare and Ruth Usoro are some of the most recent Nigerian athletes who have benefitted from the US Collegiate system that offers scholarship, quality training, adequate nutrition and welfare to these athletes.

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In an exclusive interview with The PUNCH, Bambo said, “Nigeria should develop her athletes at home in addition to those who are being developed in the US Collegiate system.

“The US Collegiate should not be the only route to becoming a professional and a world-class athlete. If you look at what Jamaica did, the mantra of the track clubs which developed the likes of Usain Bolt and Ashafa Powell is that the US Collegiate should not be the only route to becoming professional athletes and may not even be the best.

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“They were able to prove that as the likes of Bolt and Powell never trained outside Jamaica. So, if we are serious as a nation about training our athletes at home and giving them scholarships, they will do well.

“Athletes like Jerry Jakpa, Emmanuel Ojeli are doing well for Nigeria and frankly they are faster than their counterparts who are being trained in the US Collegiate system. So why develop about 30 athletes in the US Collegiate when you can be developing over 200 at the same time.”

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