Closeup of weightlifter clapping hands before barbell workout at the gym
• Appeals to Obaseki, Shaibu, Alimikhena, others for support
As part of his contributions to the development of weightlifting in the country, former Olympian, Coach Emmanuel Oshomah, is set to launch a weightlifting academy, the first of its kind in Nigeria.
The launching/commissioning ceremony of the academy, known as OSHOBUGIE, will hold today by 12.00 p.m. at First Bawak, South Ibie off Benin – Abuja Road, Auchi, Edo State.
Oshomah said he decided to set up the academy to upgrade the standard of weightlifting, adding: “This is to make Nigeria known and respected as a foremost weightlifting nation, just as Cuba is known for Boxing, and Jamaica in the world of athletics.”
Oshomah, who recently retired as a weightlifting coach, said: “Permit me to inform his excellency that Nigeria has dominated weightlifting in Africa since the early 1980s, but it is yet to replicate this at the world level.
“By now, Nigeria should be consistent on the Olympic podium. The defunct Bendel State was a leading weightlifting state in Nigeria, a position that was maintained by Edo and Delta states. That is what gave birth to this private initiative to situate the academy in Auchi.”
In his active days as a weightlifter, Oshomah represented Nigeria at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California, U.S., the World Weightlifting Championship in Sweden in 1985, as well as the 1987 All Africa Games in Nairobi, Kenya, where he distinguished himself, winning two gold and one silver medal, while setting a new African record in the process.
As a coach, he led Nigeria to several championships as head of technical team, including the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014. Oshoma appealed to all Nigerians, particularly the sports-loving governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki; his deputy Philip Shaibu; the senator representing Edo North, Hon. Francis Alimikhena; chairman of Edo Sports Commission, Yusuf Alli and other individuals, who love sports, to honour the invitation and be part of the N50 million launching of the weightlifting academy today.
“Your contribution will help us achieve the desired support for the development and growth of Nigerian weightlifting standard to the benefit of mankind and to the glory of God Almighty,” Oshomah stated.