By John Essien
Long jump silver medalist at the just concluded World Athletics Championship, Ese Brume has pleaded with the Nigerian Government to create an educational system that supports the grooming of athletes alongside academics, to prepare them adequately to represent the country in different sporting activities globally.
The Olympic Bronze medalist, speaking in an interview with Arise TV on Wednesday monitored by Heritage Times HT, said that lack of financial support from the Government had prompted several athletes to travel abroad.
She, however, appealed to authorities to put in place strategic plans which includes sponsorship and provision of adequate sporting facilities to aid athletes from the grassroots level.
“The Government needs to be more supportive in the areas of sealing sponsorship deals to aid athletes finance their careers and building more infrastructures for athletes because that’s the major reason most of us travel abroad, because the Nigerian system of education does not support sports, so we have to look for a way whereby we can get education and be successful in our careers” the 26-year-old said.
The Delta State-born athlete went even further to appeal for support for the coaches. She noted that the success of every athlete is dependent on the coach’s motivation.
“Coaches in Nigeria don’t get paid enough and this is not good for them because they have family to take care of… Thus is also not a good sign for athletes as well, because if the coaches are not stable it will affect athletes performing at the highest level.”
Brume’s final leap of 7.02 metres in Eugene, Oregon was enough to see her finish at the podium and to gift Nigeria her second medal minutes after compatriot Tobi Amusan won a maiden gold at the championship for Nigeria.
German Olympic champion Malaika Mihambo, won gold with a final leap of 7.12 metres and Brazil’s Leticia Oro Melo took bronze with 6.89m.