By: Gracious Akujobi
Seigha Porbeni, the pioneer Director of Sports in Delta State on Thursday faulted the singular reward of Blessing Okagbare by President Jonathan after her exploits at World Athletics championship in Russia.
It will be recalled that President Jonathan had on Wednesday rewarded Okagbare alongside her personal coach with N3 million and N3.5million for winning a Long Jump Silver and 100 meters bronze at the championship.
Porbeni, however, said the reward would only succeed in discouraging those who participated in the championship but did not win any medal.
“The President is doing his own beat. He is just one individual trying his best. We should go beyond that and see how we do not only reward one Onyali, one Ajunwa or one Okagbare”
“We should be rewarding athletes like in the days of the Ezinwa brothers, the Imos, the Falilats because that was a team and people produced them from the grassroots,’’ Porbeni said.
Porbeni urged government to go a step further to provide adequate training facilities for athletes’ development while stressing the point that athletes need to be looked after before and during major international competition instead of abandoning them to their fate.
“The truth is that we have a lot of administrative flaws right from the board of the various sports federations.
“Most of them are yet to get their acts right and until this is done they will not know the right direction to go.
Porbeni is credited to have discovered the likes of Falilat Ogunkoya and also contributed to the success story of former Africa sprint queen, Mary Onyali-Omagbemi