I'm Not Ashamed To Be A Gymnast


While many Nigerian youths would prefer to be involved in sports like football, Basketball, Table Tennis and Athletics, but for Adeyi Oyeronke being a gymnast is nothing to be ashamed of.

Oyeronke, who is among the athletes that recently passed the screening exercise of Adopt-A-Talent Sports Programme, says she is ready to step up her game through the summer holiday camping.

“Most of my friends always ask me why I got into Gymnastics, what I always tell them is that I love the sport and I am not ashamed of being a gymnast,” said Oyeronke, who won bronze medal for Lagos State in the 2011 National Sports Festival, NSF, held in Port Harcourt.

The SS1 student of Longford International School, Oyingbo, started her Gymnastic career four years ago at the Lagos State Sports Council.

Oyeronke came to limelight in 2009 when she represented Lagos in All Secondary School Games held in Kano where she won two gold medals.

After her performance in Kano, she got an invitation to represent Team Lagos at the 2011 National Sports Festival held in Porth Harcourt, River State where she won bronze in singles and gold medal in Gymnastic team event.

“Prior to last year’s festival, I gave myself a target to win at least a bronze medal and God answered my prayer with a bronze and gold medal. The experience I garnered last year would help me to win gold in the singles in this year’s edition,” she said.

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She informed that her dad did not give her the needed support early in her career until she won laurels for Lagos State in tourneys.

“My dad did not want me to go into Gymnastics. He said the sport is not popular like football but I thank God today that after my perfomances in major tourneys my dad have showed interest in the sports,” said Oyeronke.

Commenting on her experience so far in the ongoing summer Camping organised by Adopt-A -Talent Sports Management, Oyeronke praised the organisers for bringing all the athletes together, adding that her target is to go abroad and improve on her experience.

“The Adopt-A -Talent’s summer camping is bringing the best out of me and I happy that my coaches are really working on me.

“My target is to represent Nigeria at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil and hopefully, for me to win medal for Nigeria,” said Oyeronke, who decried lack of facilities and irregular competitions as the major challenges Gymnasts are faced with in this country.

P.MSports gathered that 180 athletes from the 10 approved sports (Gymnastics, Swimming, Karate, Judo, Soccer, Basketball, Volleyball, Athletics, Boxing and Table Tennis) are currently taking part in the summer camping at the University of Lagos, Yabatech Sports Centre, Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere and Oshodi Sports Centre.

—Sunday Akintoye

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