Nigerian journalists have called on the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Hon Sunday Dare to include foremost gymnastics coach in Nigeria, Anthony Asuquo in the list of names penciled down for recognition by President Muhammed Buhari
The Nigeria athletes to the just-concluded Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and others who represented the country at other international events will be given a heroic welcome by the Federal Government at the Nigeria seat of power, Aso Villa, on Thursday.
However, coach Tony will not be among the list of people that will be recognized by the number citizen of the country
Many Nigerian journalists have expressed dismay over his omisssion saying he deserves to giving national recognition
Tolulope Oguntimehin, Head of Sports for ITV Abuja and Radio, said Tony’s contribution can not be swept under the carpet
“He has contributed immensely to the growth of the sports and has done more for gymnastics than the federation”
Joel Ajayi a reporter with Aljazira Newspaper said he deserves some accolades and his name should be among those that will receive “presidential handshake” from Mr President
“It is really sad that his name was omitted and I think the Minister needs to do something fast about this”
Sly Ofekun, Head of Sports for Kiss FM Abuja said “I am really shocked that he was not included. This is really disheartening that Tony’s name will be missing from the list. He needs to be recognized for his contribution to the sports. He has done more for gymnastics than the gymnastics federation’
Tony Asuquo, the only coach in Nigeria certified by FIG (Federation of International Gymnastics) in Aerobic and Artistic gymnastics and one of the most qualified in the country, has produced athletes who have gone ahead to make the country proud in many international competitions.
The coach has most times been overlooked in national team appointments or recognitions despite the amount of effort he has put in at the grassroots to turn around the fortune of gymnastics in the country
Some of the athletes produced by the coach and have gone ahead to represent their states and Nigeria at National Sports festivals, African Youth Game and Africa Club Championship in South Africa are
Uche eke – first Nigerian gymnast to ever compete at the Olympics (Tokyo 2020) and the kid sensation Stephanie Onisiruka who is currently the number one female gymnast in the country, Gabriella Asemota, who represented Nigeria at African Youth Games in Algeria and also Iveren Hagher, are some of the names that have passed through his tutelage with other notable athletes like Tomisin Babatunde Akwa – Ibom; Ekezie Emeka – Delta; Josh Aliyu – katsina; Jesica Anne, Goodnews Kings and
Michael kings all from Katsina State.
Stephanie Onisiriuka – Anambara; Tunnishe Akinola – Akwa Ibom;
Daniella Asemota – FCT;
Mary David, Borni
Babarinde isheoluwa Akwa – Ibom; Mohammed Aliyu – Bauchi; Sefiya Mshela – Borno as well as Abubakar Musa from Borno State
Tony International Gymnastics, TIG has been a voice for Nigerian gymnastics on the international scene by consistently competing in International club championships in South Africa, Singapore, USA and Seychelles, winning medals in these events.
TIG through Coach Tony has etched Nigeria’s name and image in global sports and it will be a well-deserving and motivating gesture that he is accorded his due recognition by the Nigerian government along with other Nigerians tomorrow.