The NSDFI implementation project is named Basic Olive Opportunity Sports Training (BOOST) meant to bring one million children into sports in the country in three years. It is piloted under the auspices of the Nigeria Sports Development Fund Inc (NSDFI).
BOOST has its governing structure separate from the NSDFI governance structure. Aare Afe Babalola (SAN) heads the BOOST structure nationally. The BOOST is expected to:
a) Fund 100% an active Elite Athlete Development programme to support 90 athletes in five sports on a two-year exposure programme towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games; Each of these athletes will have a N20million budget for the two year programme (2018-2020).
b) Establish a solidarity fund for 36 community projects so as to engender massive development and performance at the grassroots level; In addition, we are set to establish six National Sports Development Centres, one each in the nation’s geo-political divides. Yours will be the South West centre.
We intend to run this sports development exercise on the next four Olympic cycles. The first cycle is (2018-2020). These processes will enable us to adequately prepare a volume of great athletes that will justify the various investments in these directions in several communities nationwide, rural and urban.
We are working with seven different medal-rewarding and citizen-supporting federations. These are programmed around Athletics. This informed the six National Athletics Development programme. Ondo got the first for the south west zone. Its has commenced operation in July 2018. Each region of the country will have a centre to develop athletes in the comparative strength of that region.
Children in 24 schools in each region will be benefitting from the centre’s developmental activities per zone. We shall buy the equipment, employ the coaches, deploy them and after set up a league where they will be chosen and helped to become great stars.
BOOST has its governing structure separate from the NSDFI governance structure. Aare Afe Babalola (SAN) heads the BOOST structure nationally - NSDFI
How the Top 10 were chosen:
Nigerians picked the persons in the TOP 10 ICONS for this project. We approached 10,000 Nigerians by e-mail including 250 sports journalists, to choose from a list of 25 shortlisted Nigerian sports brands. At the close of voting on the 30th August 2016, we eventually got 89,870 people who voted!
Aruna Quadri, the table tennis 2016 legend blazed the trail! He strongly led the voting scheme. He got 33,431 votes to be an icon! Coach Shaibu Amodu and Chief Mary Onyali got 31,009 and 30,975 votes next respectively.
Others that Nigerians massively voted to be on the list of the nation’s top 10 icons to be used for the project are late DSP Sunday Bada (28,903), Chioma Ajunwa (28,201), Chika Chukwumerije (26,550), Nduka Odizor (26,004), Blessing Okagbare (25,988), Ruth Ogbeifo-Balofin (24,977), Funke Oshonaike (24,882). The least voted of the 25 short listed, received 11,904 votes.
16million Nigerians are to be recruited to endorse this project. Every citizen of the different communities, local councils, states and regions are expected to buy-in into the programme at the cost of N200 per annum. This community ownership will drive the programme through years.
Citizens will be able to participate, sign up, support their project to maximise the project and produce new generation of world leaders in sports from within. The governance of the funds, the training, development, facilities development in the communities, competitions and foreign travels will be conducted by the Governance Board.
In all, series of leagues are expected to start nine months after the first training has commenced. There will be 12 clubs named after 10 of our icons and two icons the regions will bring up. They will be playing first within the community and in a national championship every year. Further and regular details can be gotten from our website or Facebook page or in writing.
We look forward to your picking some interest in the children and youths of our nation that would emerge from our activities. A pilot project named after Chief Ruth Ogbeifo Balofin has commenced in Offa in Kwara State with 1,098 children and 3001 volunteers. Ruth hails from Kokori in Delta State was the first African woman to make the silver medal in an Olympic. She achieved the feat at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Chief Mary Onyali (MFR)
Executive Director (Technical)