Chioma Ajunwa-Opara, an Olympic gold medallist at the Atlanta 1996 Games, is confident the projected N6 billion Sports and Youth development centre planned for Imo State, Nigeria will be an enduring legacy for the country.
Ajunwa’s Foundation is working in conjunction with the Ikukuuoma Foundation for the actualisation of the novel project.
According to the master plan shared with reporters in Lagos, the Sports and Youth development centre will have a primary and secondary school, a radio station, among other facilities.
It will also have a 4,000 capacity stadium with tracks, swimming pool, gymnasium, and other sporting facilities for the athletes
According to Ajunwa who remains Nigeria’s first and only individual gold medalist, she would be better fulfilled unearthing and nurturing a new set of Nigerian gold medalists rather than glorying in the fact that no other person has matched her heroic feat.
She said: “After 25 years that no one has been able to replicate my gold-winning feat, I came to a conclusion that we need to do something different, we need to take another dimension if we are to get the results we want”.
“I have found out that one of the biggest problems we have in Nigerian sports is not having a befitting place where we can put our athletes together to groom and nurture them.
READ ALSO: INTERVIEW: Why I am happy another Nigerian broke my 25-year-old African Record – Chioma Ajunwa
“Organising school sports or youth games year after year with no facility to train the young talents we see can not work; that is why I am coming with this initiative which I believe will be a legacy for generation after generation.”
Ajunwa said when completed and fully functional, the N6 billion edifice will serve as a reservoir of talent where Nigeria can easily pick quality athletes to represent her in international competitions.
“Look at the likes of USA, UK even China, they have where they groom athletes year in year out-this is what we are planning to achieve also.”
A former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, and other top Nigerians are expected to grace the launch planned by Ajunwa-Opara on October 8 at the Muson Centre in Lagos.
In the past months, the Chioma Ajunwa Foundation has embarked on a massive grassroots hunt for female talents in athletics, football, and taekwondo, as the project initially focuses on these three sports.