Ex – Olympian to Establish National Weighlifting Centre in Kwara
Ruth Ogbeifo – Balofin Community Project (ROBCOP) are on the verge of reaching an agreement with the Kwara state government – which will see the organisation (ROBCOP) collaborate in establishing a national weighlifting centre in Kwara state.
Founder and President of ROBCOP, Ruth Ogbeifo, who hails from Delta but grew up in Ilorin where she started and represented the state at national and international weighlifting championship, confirmed on Monday, 17th Feb. 2020 in Ilorin that the proposed partnership will help the state and Nigeria in achieving its legacy and sustainability strategy needed in twofold: firstly, to give back Nigerians with the view to identify talented athletes, at all levels; and secondly, to develop a multi-stakeholder network to develop weightlifting.
The first African woman to win a medal in weightlifting at the Olympic games, during the courtesy visit together with her contingent made up of Dr. Mrs Chioma Ajunwa ( first and only individual Olympic gold medalist for Nigeria in Long Jump), Captain Dorcas Onuwa Ekpenisi met with major stakeholders and government officials where she noted her concerns over the failure of the Kwara state government to recognised her impact in the history of weightlifting in the state for her unmeasurable services but however expressed optimism on the current government led by Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq to cooperate with her team by providing the site needed for the project.
She pointed out that the absence of modern Sport infrastructures in Nigeria has consequently undermined the mental and physical development of weightlifting in Nigeria.
Hon. Commissioner for Sports and youths development, Joanna Kolo, while giving her remarks, commended Delta born Ruth for her dogged determination and expressed confidence that the state government led by Malam Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq will provide an enabling environment for the proposed project.
The team led by Director of Sports, Kwara state Sports Council, Coach coach Tunde Kazeem, also visited the Special Adviser on Sports (Attahiru Ibrahim) and the Kwara state Commissioner for Police (Kayode Egbetokun) who both gave assurance of their commitments towards making the project a reality.
Others members of the team includes Steve Olarinoye (Chairman, Kwara state weighlifting association), Mrs Sarah Bola Esan, Chief Niyi Tinuoye (ROBCOP Project Director) amongst others.
Recall Ruth Ogbeifo grew up in Pakata area of Kwara state, Ilorin, where she attended Barakat Community secondary school, she started her career in weightlifting and went on to become top figure in Sports after winning lot of medals for Kwara and Nigeria before her retirement.