The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has received triumphant gymnastics sensation, Stephanie Onusiriuka in his office.
The 11- year old Onusiriuka, a beneficiary of the Ministry’s Talent Hunt Programme (THP) – recently bagged Gold medal at the African Junior Gymnastics Championship in Pretoria, South Africa.
The Minister, in his remarks, commended Stephanie, who was accompanied by her mother, Amaka for her steadfastness, even at a young age, stating that her years of putting in the work behind the scene has yielded fruits on the global stage.
“Why Stephanie is so dear to me is that barely two weeks after I became Minister, I was taking a tour of the stadium, I was going through, then I waited there for a while. I was impressed because some gymnasts were practicing and doing some flips, and there was this little girl with her coach really doing impressive stuff. That little girl was Stephanie and her coach Anthony Asuquo. I also saw a woman with a baby, then I asked who she was and was told she is the mother of the little girl practicing. So you see a woman who is really interested in the progress of her daughter and I’m happy it is turning out very well for them.
“Stephanie has since been on our Talent Hunt Programme(THP) and we agreed that we will be giving a flat amount of money as support for them, and that when trips come up, we will have to support with estacodes, and sometimes flight tickets amongst others.
“So I think that we will get that really started, so on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, I want to thank you, it doesn’t matter whether you are small or big, you are representing Nigeria and you are our pride,” Dare emphasised.
Onusiriuka, got a letter of commendation from the Minister, and some financial support which is part of the package for all young athletes on the Ministry’s Talent Hunt Programme.