Association Chairman Decries Poaching Of Athletes


The Chairman, Ebonyi State
Badminton and Weightlifting Association, Chukwudi Unachukwu, has said that poaching of athletes, hamper the development of his sports in the state.
.Unachukwu, told newsmen in Abakaliki that it had been the inability of the state government and the private sector to collaborate to develop sports that had been responsible for the poaching of athletes from Ebonyi.
According to Unachukwu the state always excels in grooming athletes only to lose them to other states because they had been unable to meet up with their welfare needs.
“The most prominent case is that of Chika Amalagha, that the state toiled to groom to continental and world championship level in weightlifting but was eventually poached by Delta.
“We all are witnesses to how she deteriorated in Delta because their main aim was not to develop her talent, but to use her in winning laurels.
“There is also the case of Mike Onwe, one of the best badminton players in the country, who was also poached by another State in spite of all efforts that we made to keep him.
“Our consolation is that the likes of Onwe still comes to the state as he cannot easily forget his roots as well as efforts made to develop him.
“Onwe was recently in the state and we used the occasion to present our best athletes to compete against him in order to improve on their skills and techniques” .
Unachukwu, then, urged the state’s present administration and the private sector to check the trend by investing in sports for the overall development of the state.
“We lack basic facilities and funds to cater for our athletes. For instance, I’m personally sponsoring a badminton competition aimed at discovering new talents and enhancing the skills of established ones.
“Other well-meaning people should also develop interest in sports, such as badminton and weightlifting,’’ added Unachukwu, the current President of the Golden Fitness club, Abakaliki.
He said that badminton was one of the best sports that one could take to, as the players could exercise all parts of the body.
The president said this could enhance a players’ skill and keep them physically and mentally fit.
“Several youths have used weightlifting as a springboard to achieve their life ambitions and subsequently becoming useful to their families and the society.
“Adequate attention should be paid to sports development by relevant bodies especially, in the current bid to check youth restiveness and other forms of criminality,’’ he said.