Wife of founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekit, Chief Modupe Babalola, has said the essence of the yearly Yeye Aare Babalola Sports Festival of the institution is to search for, identify and develop talented young athletes who will win medals for the country.
Babalola said talents that were discovered in the four previous editions were now excelling in national and continental sports in Nigeria and Africa.
The ABUAD founder’s wife, who spoke in Ado-Ekiti during the finals of the 2018 YABAS, described sports development as one of the ways through which the potential of Nigerian youths could be developed for economic gains and prosperity.
She said, “The essence of this sports fiesta is to hunt for talents that will, in turn, do our nation proud. White collar jobs are no longer there, so why can’t private and public sectors join hands to develop the potential of our youths who are just there wasting away? The best way to achieve success in life is to explore your God-given potential,” she said.
Over 135 athletes drawn from four secondary schools in Ekiti and ABUAD who participated in the grand finale of 2018 YABAS, competed in 14 different sporting events.
The sports festival is sponsored by Babalola, who donated a cash prize of N3m to boost the morale of youths in sports development in the country, particularly in Ekiti State.
Kehinde Bademasi won the most outstanding athlete of the 2018 edition of YABAS.
ABUAD Vice Chancellor, Prof Michael Ajisafe, praised the founder’s wife for sponsoring the sporting events, saying this would go a long way in complementing the culture of academic excellence ABUAD was reputed for.
Ajisafe said, “I am a specialist in sports science and I appreciate what sports is all about. I want to say that Nigerians have a lot to gain if this sector is given the desired attention.
“Babalola is through this sponsorship, appreciating the need to also develop our youths using the instrument of sports development. This will help in creating a stable, peaceful and balanced society for everybody because when one’s potentials are effectively harnessed, the individual and the society are bound to derive immense benefits from it,” he said.
Culled from Punch