21st July, 2011
Ahead of the 2012 National Sports Festival (NSF) to be hosted in Lagos State, former Table Tennis national and African champion, Bose Olateju Abibat Kaffo, has enjoined Lagos State Government, through its Sports Council to start payment of monthly salaries to athletes that represented the state at the just concluded 17th National Sports Festival in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Kaffo said to put up a brilliant outing at the festival and bring back the seemingly lost glory in sports the state was known for in the past, Lagos has to start remunerating its athletes just as other states are doing.
The five-time Olympiad and captain of the Nigerian contingent to the Beijing Olympics in 2008 stated that financial reward after each major tourney is not enough to motivate athletes. She said government still needs to take a bold step and starts to take care of the athletes that have made the state proud at various sports events.
â€œThis is the time for us to start protecting our athletes from being poached by other states. They do this by luring them with salaries, employment opportunities and academic scholarships.â€
â€œWe need to start taking care of our athletes so that they will not be won over by them through incentives that we can also give them, even more than they give in other states,â€ Kafo said.
Kaffo is expected back in Nigeria this week after a week-International Table Tennis level One coaching course for the Tanzania Table Tennis coaches.
The masters degree holder in Sports Performance and Clinical Biomechanics from Hatton University, London, currently lectures part-time in the National Institute for Sport, NIS.