The vice-president of Africa Taekwondo Federation (ATF), Chief Jonathan Nnaji has commended the governing body for the sport in Nigeria for their successful hosting of a recent international competition.
Nnaji said he is proud of the determination, vision and efforts of Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF), which he said made it possible for them to pull off the feat.
Nnaji noted that the 2019 Nigeria International Taekwondo Open was bound not to hold in the first place, due to lack of sponsors, hence his verdict that the NTF deserve commendations for their success.
While hailing the taekwondo federation for a job well done, Nnaji called on the ministry of sports to look inward and pay more attention to funding of the country’s sporting bodies.
Jonathan posited that the International Taekwondo Open was a good opportunity for young athletes to get more experience and excel in future competitions.
He, however, noted that most Nigerian taekwondo athletes that took part in the championship did so on their own, nobody to sponsor them.
Nnaji added: “All those players that came here paid from their pockets, they paid thousands to come here to compete, just to get a point.
“If you gather points, it makes you to go ahead in tournaments. Our people don’t have enough tournaments due to lack of sponsorship
“The NTF has a board that is willing to take taekwondo to the next level; but we cannot be running the game and grow it without sponsorship.
“The government in particular should put in place a system that will help individuals and corporate bodies to have interest in sports sponsorship.
“This is because without a good system, people will not be interested in funding sports.’’