U.S. schools saved Nigeria N26m at national trials, says AFN Performance Director

By Daily Sports Nigeria on July 4, 2022

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United States-based board member and Performance Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Victor Okorie, has revealed how American universities saved Nigeria from spending over $40,000 (about N26m) on flight tickets for athletes to attend the recently concluded National Trials in Benin City.

The National Trials served as selection competition for both the Oregon 2022 World Athletics Championships and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.

He stated that as performance director and liaison officer of AFN, he had built good working relationships with most Nigerian athletes and their coaches in the United States and Canada.
“While talking with these coaches, I was told that in the past, no one ever called to know how these athletes were doing. They also complained that in the past, no one gave them heads up on when the athletes would represent Nigeria.

“They really appreciate me calling them on a weekly basis to ask about the well-being of the athletes. In return, I tell them that this is what our president wants. He wants things done differently from the previous board and that is why he appointed me to carry out that vision.

 “The rapport that I have built with these coaches, athletics directors and university presidents enabled me to tell them to book tickets for our athletes when they are needed to compete for Nigeria. One example was the World Indoor Championships when Texas Tech bought a ticket for Ruth Usoro to attend the Championships in Belgrade, Serbia in March this year. All our athletes, except one or two, had their tickets purchased by their universities for the National Trials in Benin City last week. I can tell you that I have saved over $40,000 in flight ticket money for the AFN/Sports Ministry. It takes sincerity and the rapport that I build over the years to achieve this.” 

Okorie, who also heads AFN’s Liaison Department, said the present Tonobok Okowa-led board is bent on doing things differently with the sole aim of portraying Nigeria’s image in good light as against the ‘dubious steps’ taken by some board members in the past.

Source The Guardian Nigeria

Posted July 4, 2022


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