An eight-year-old gymnast, Adila Adedeji, on Saturday apologised to the Kwara people for not winning a gold medal at the just concluded African Junior Gymnastics Championship International in South Africa.
The silver medalist said she would work harder in the next international event to make Kwara and Nigeria proud.
Miss Adedeji won a silver medal in the floor level in the competition in Pretoria in South Africa.
She said gymnastics was an amazing sport for children to engage in.
“I dedicate this medal to my country Nigeria. I won the silver medal in the floor level in South Africa. Tony International Gymnastics is a place to be for any child that loves sports,” the child gymnast said. “I’ m looking forward to better days ahead to win the gold medal in international competitions.”
Miss Adedeji’s mother, Fatima Sidi-Ali, said all the gymnasts made them proud in the competition in South Africa.
“As parents, we are proud of them (gymnasts). I am happy to see my daughter doing well in gymnastics,” she noted. “I would like to tell parents to encourage their children in doing the sport; we (parents) should look into our children and find out what aspects of the sport they are passionate about and then give them all the support they need to go about it.”
Ms Sidi-Ali added, “I will continue to give my daughter Adila the necessary support she needs to excel in sports.”
On her part, Amaka Onusiriuka, the mother of Stephanie Onusiriuka, who won a gold medal in the championship, said she was happy with her daughter’s performance.
She said Miss Onusiriuka received support from the ministry because she is one of the beneficiaries of the talents hunt programme introduced to athletes by sports minister Sunday Dare.
Mrs Onusiriuka advised parents and guardians to allow their kids to engage in sports.
“There are different sports in the country; they should endeavour to allow them to pick any sport of their choice, and they should support them, and the sky is the limit for them,” she added.
Miss Onusiriuka, the gold medallist, admitted that the event was competitive.
“The challenge I encountered during the competition in South Africa is that the competition was very hard and tough. I also saw lots of high training facilities which we don’t have in Nigeria. I want to tell TIG to keep improving with the club,” Miss Onusiriuka explained. “The club has really helped me to improve a lot. In the nearest future, I want to see myself in the next world championship and Commonwealth Games.”
She further stated that her next target was to win another gold medal in the upcoming All Africa Games in Ghana.
Nine gymnasts from TIG Club represented Nigeria in the two-day Junior African Gymnastics in Pretoria in South Africa, from August 12 to 13. They won seven medals: Five gold, one silver and one bronze.
Miss Onusiriuka received N1 million and free flight tickets from Air Peace.
She won gold in the 2021 National Sports Festival in Edo.
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