In what apparently indicates Nigeria’s commitment to reach its full potential in fencing, two of the country’s coaches at the weekend became certified fencing masters.
The two coaches, Oladipo Gabriel and Happiness Iroenyenwa, attended a year-long coaching course in South Africa.
The development is coming on the heels of IOC President Thomas Bach’s declaration that Nigeria can be a leading force in the sport after the German, who is a former Olympic fencing gold medalist, featured in a fencing display in Abuja, during his two-day visit where he commissioned the Headquarters of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) in the Nigerian capital last Thursday.
“Additional Fencing Masters are exactly what the federation needs to develop our fencers on the Olympic pathway. They will also play crucial roles in putting together a long-term development plan for our beginner fencers in all three weapons (Foil, Epee and Sabre), Nigerian fencing boss, Adeyinka Samuel, said.
According to Samuel, who was a former top 100 ranked fencer in the world, the two coaches, in addition, graduated with a diploma in Sports Science from Eta College, Johannesburg as the course runs which concurrently with the fencing programs for a year was sponsored by FIE, the global governing body of fencing.
“The words of encouragement from the IOC President has really motivated us and we will strive harder to make sure that we reach our full potential in fencing,” Samuel said as he appealed to corporate bodies and well meaning individuals to support the various developmental programmes of the federation.