person_pin Okey Onwuka
query_builder October 6, 2019 17:52:12

By Amaka Isikala :

Nimo (Njikoka LGA), Oct. 6, 2019 (MOI) Training camp set up by Anambra State Athletic Head Coach, John Igboka has continued to raise top athletes, even with very little support from Government.

The track and field star coach, with a training camp located at St. Michael’s Model Comprehensive Secondary School, Nimo is aiming at producing more stars, if the state could offer more support.

``We sure can produce more World beaters, it we can get more financial and more material support from Anambra State Government and corporate bodies,’’ Igboka said.

Igboka, who doubles as National coach in the jumps, particularly high jump said another aim was to engage the youths in different sporting activities so as to be able to realise their dreams of performing in top-rated competitions.

The world-class coach noted that he had trained no fewer than 25 youthful athletes now various parts of the World in many sports at the camping site.

According to him the camping site has a hostel accommodation for those coming from distant places.

The field event coach said he brought so many athletes to limelight through sports codes like shot put, sprints, javelin, high and long jumps as well as the quarter-mile.

Such athletes include the likes of Amaka Oyeocha from Abagana who now specialised in shot put, Ebele Agbapuluonwu from Onitsha, now quarter miler.  

``The two top athletes are now based in Bahrain and currently competing for that country in the ongoing World Athletics Championships in Doha, the Qatari capital,’’ he said.

Others are Ebuka Ude from Nimo, a javelin star now in Italy and Smart Onejeme from Awka, a shot put great now U.S.-based.

Igboka said he was able to engage them in other events like hurdles, triple and long jumps and the throws.

He said that he was able to train some of these youths from the training he acquired at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) approved centres.

There are only three of such centres in Africa – Senegal, Kenya and South Africa.

``For you to be a good coach, you are expected to be knowledgeable in basic skills in athletics,’’ he stressed.

Igboka emphasised that there was need for people to always engage in wellness and fitness exercises.

He cited the marathon races now gaining currency across as the country, where people could utilise to burn off calories in order to stay healthy.

The coach commended the organisers of the just concluded Onitsha City Marathon (OCM) for bringing the event to the consciousness of the people, stressing the importance of physical fitness could not be over emphasised.

An athlete, Jude Okafor, whose area of specialty was the 200 meters sprint from Mbaukwu, Awka South LGA hailed the coach for his efforts at harnessing the potential of youths.

Uzoemeka Nwakachi from Anaku said that he was elated at an opportunity, to bring out the best in him. (MOI)