Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Commonwealth Games medalist Patience George slams FG, Cross River

“As for the federal government, it is only when there is a major championship that some of us get to see and feel its presence.”

• August 16, 2022
Patience George, President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Ben Ayade.
Patience George, President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Ben Ayade.

Patience George, a Commonwealth silver medalist and gold medalist in the All African Games, says her eyes are on winning Olympic gold as she slams the federal and Cross River governments for not doing enough on time to keep Nigerian athletes competitive and successful at international events.

George, who placed sixth in the last Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, stated this on Monday in Calabar. She is currently the 400m titleholder in the National Sports Festival (NSF).

With a personal best of 50:71 seconds in 400m, George said she remained optimistic about breaking the 48:54 seconds Africa record set by Namibia’s teenager, Christine Mboma.

“All that I achieved thus far is mainly through personal efforts and nothing more. My state, Cross River, has been the most disappointing of all. There is no form of support coming from my state as regards my training and other logistics,” said the athlete.

George added, “As for the federal government, it is only when there is a major championship that some of us get to see and feel its presence. I feel Nigeria will do better if the government does not wait for competitions before remembering their athletes.”

She urged the governments always to ensure that they put the athletes in a competitive mood even without any competition in sight and attributed Nigeria’s inability to win a medal in the women’s 400m race to the absence of Imabong Uko in Birmingham.

She praised the federal government for supporting athletes at the just-concluded Commonwealth Games.

Meanwhile, the Cross River government has denied that it does not support athletes from the state.

Emmanuel Elom, chairman of the Cross River Sports Commission, said Governor Ben Ayade’s government always made it a duty to support athletes from the state whenever the need arose.

According to him, athletes must notify the government in writing about competitions because there are processes for providing needed support.

“During the last Olympics in Tokyo, we offered support to athletes who are from the state because they notified the government,” he said. 

(NAN)

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