Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has urged Nigerians to always speak well of the country, saying the nation has all it takes to be great.
Speaking while receiving a group of young gymnasts in his office on Monday, the vice president, who said he was fascinated by the ‘impressionable, impressive, vibrant and agile youngsters,’ affirmed that stories of their experiences in national and international tournaments showed that given the right push, the Nigerian youth would excel in every sphere of life.
Osinbajo expressed delight at the conduct of the gymnasts, their coaches and parents, especially as he was only becoming aware of the abundance of talents in the sport in the country.
He said: “This for me is very heartwarming, intriguing and exciting, because there is really great hope for gymnastics in Nigeria, especially people who are starting so very young.
“I want to commend TIG Gymnastics International, and of course, Coach Anthony Asuquo and other coaches and even the parents. I think you are pioneers of some sort in encouraging your children to be gymnasts.
“I see a lot of the athletics categories and how well people are doing, but I think that we really have some great potential, and just seeing the video, it is evident that there is a lot of promise and talent that is available here in Nigeria.”
The youths, who are members of TIG International Gymnastics Club, Abuja, a private sporting club, were accompanied by their coaches, parents and handlers.
Among the gymnastics, led by their coach, Anthony Asuquo, were multiple gold medallists, Stephanie Onusiriuka, Tomisin Babatunde and Dolapo Adedeji, who is also the spokesperson of the club.
Eight-year-old Adedeji praised the vice president for finding time to meet the team and “for all the good things you are doing for our country to make it a better place.”
She assured Osinbajo that the gymnasts would continue to work hard to make their parents, the club and the country proud at national and international competitions.
Also speaking during the visit, Babatunde, who has a gold and six bronze medals to his credit, thanked the founder of the club and sponsors for the support given to him, especially in actualising his dream of becoming a professional gymnast.
At the 2019 National Youth Games in Ilorin, Stephanie won several silver and bronze medals to become Nigeria’s youngest medalist in gymnastics.