I'm Glad To Make Delta State Proud


Brume Ese, 16, won a gold medal in the long jump event at the ongoing National Sports Festival, tagged ‘Eko 2012’. In this interview with BIMBO AJAYI, the University of Benin student speaks about her feelings on winning the medal and other issues

What does the gold medal you won in the long jump event of Eko 2012 festival mean to you?

I feel great about this medal because it is a wonderful moment in my life. I’m happy because I know that I have not disappointed the people that contributed to my success at the games. My family, coaches and the entire people of Delta State will be proud of me because of the great feat that I have attained in my career. In addition, my achievement will go a long way to spur me in my chosen career.

Is the gold medal a compensation for the money promised you and other athletes by the Delta State government?

The truth is that I did not come to Eko 2012 because of the money. Rather I came for the games because of the passion that I have for sports. It takes someone that has passion for sports to win a gold medal in a competition of this magnitude. It is my passion for sports that gives me the courage to combine education with sports. And I am happy that I don’t have any cause to regret taking the bold step.

Do you think athletics is improving in Nigeria despite the country’s flop at the London 2012 Olympics?

Ofcourse, I think athletics is improving in Nigeria despite the fact that we did not win a single medal at the London Olympics. It is unfair to use only the performance of our athletes in London as the yardstick to judge athletics in the country. Although athletics may not be at its best in the country at the moment, but that does not mean it is doing so badly.

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What next after your achievement at the festival?

The aim of every athlete is to get to the top of the ladder in her chosen event. Hence, I will not rest on my oars. I still have the All Africa Games and the Olympics ahead of me and I will give my best into those games as well. I know that there are bigger laurels ahead of me if I do not rest on my oars.

 Who is your hero?

My hero is Blessing Okagbare. I know some people may be wondering why I choose her as my hero because she is not a foreigner. But I don’t see any reason why I cannot choose her, she is doing great at the moment. She is internationally acclaimed and has won several laurels in Nigeria’s colours. To be candid, I don’t see why I should not choose someone that has that kind of profile as my hero.

What is your advice to upcoming athletes?

My advice to them is that they should work hard because there is no shortcut to success. They should also be patient and realise that there are stages in life and that Rome was not built in a day. And above all, they should be focused.

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