Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, has offered words of encouragement to a group of Nigerian female Para-Power Lifters from the state urging them to make the nation proud in their next outing in the Olympics next year.
According to a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Kazie Ukoh, Otti alongside his wife, Mrs Priscilla, on Tuesday, played host to the athletes at his country home in Nvosi, Isialangwa South, where he extolled the resilience and strong will of the young ladies to excel, notwithstanding their physical challenges.
This is barely two weeks after he warmly received a contingent of Abia players in the nation’s female football team, Super Falcons, to the World Cup in Australia.
The female Para-power Lifters are headed to the Olympics next year after having qualified from the Dubai Championship.
Otti said: “I’m very proud of our sons and daughters, who have continued to represent us very well in the international arena of sports.
“Today, we have two of our own, who have excelled in the area of para-power lifting. We’re very proud of you. You have shown that though you are physically living with some disabilities, it does not mean that you are challenged. You have shown that despite all the difficulties, you can rise above that location and rise to the occasion and do very well.
“So, you’re an encouragement to those who do not have some limitations. The message to everyone is that you need to rise above the limitations that nature may have placed on you and excel.
“I’m happy to celebrate all of you and thank you for doing us proud and you can be sure that we’ll continue to support you. My prayer is that by next year, when you go to represent the country in the Olympics you’ll come back with gold medals,” the Governor said.
Responding, one of the athletes, Ogechika Esther Nwogu, thanked Governor Otti for receiving them, describing him as a breath of fresh air.
“We have been travelling for some years now. Sometimes when there is no fund from the Federal (government), we miss our competitions. When he was voted in as Father of Abia State, we breathed new air.
“We thank you so much. Words cannot express how we feel inside. You have done us well, we are proud of you. My colleague, Onyinyechi Gift Mark, and I are promising you and pledging that by God’s grace both of us will keep breaking records. All we need is your continued support,” Nwogu told the Governor.
The athletes, who came with a team from the state’s sports council, were presented with gifts by the First Lady, Mrs. Otti.
Also, at the reception were members of the State Executive Council, including the Deputy Governor, Engr Ikechukwu Emetu.
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