A 300-level student of the Department of Chemistry, College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS), Miss Olajide Olayinka Sholademi has shown that being an athlete is not a barrier to having an excellent academic performance. Miss Olajide, who is currently a 2nd class upper grade student disclosed during an interview with FUNAAB Bulletin that though it has been hectic combining sports with her academics, she has been able to balance it all with her determination to be successful and also with the support of her Coach and the University at large.
The 100 and 200 metres Sprinter who represented Nigeria in the 4 X100 metres relay race at the just concluded World Junior Athletic Championship, held in Nairobi, Kenya, between August 17 and 21, 2021 tagged, “Nairobi 2020”, had earlier displayed her prowess on the track at an U-20 Race in Asaba, Delta State where she was chosen to represent Nigeria in the competition alongside other Nigerians and 116 athletes from other countries across the world.
The young champ popularly referred to as ‘AJ Gold’ on campus, while speaking on what attracted her to athletics, described herself as “athletic in nature” and stated that she was discovered by the University, stressing that despite coming from a family of athletes, she developed keen interest in it during an orientation programme as a fresher in the University.
According to her, “I have always seen myself as athletic in nature coupled with the fact that I come from a family of athletes though they never really pursued their passion for it neither did they consider doing it professionally. But I became really interested in athletics during an orientation programme organised for new students by the University in my first year while the Coach and Acting Director of Sports was giving a Lecture on Sports and what he said then made me determined to be a part of the team”.
She revealed that her major aim in life is to win the Olympics as her ultimate competition, adding that she is determined to go far in her career as a Sprinter and break her time ahead of the World Championship in Oregon.
“My ultimate competition is the Olympics and ahead of the World Championship in Oregon, I want to break my time from 11:15 to 10.1 secs. I don’t intend stopping anytime soon which is why I practice a whole lot and carry myself with lots of confidence. I am not limiting myself because I am determined to become a professional in athletics”, she said.
While speaking on her motivation, Olajide stated that asides from her determination to make herself proud, she is also motivated by the support she gets from her colleagues in school, friends, coach and the University, stressing that she is determined to make FUNAAB proud because she was discovered by the school.
She appreciated the management and the Acting Sports Director, Dr. Sam Olabanji for the continous support and motivation, and pleaded with the management to work towards improving the Tracks for training, stating that she needs to train regularly in order to be on top of her game.
Meanwhile, the Acting Sports Director, Dr. Sam Olabanji while commending the Management for taking a bold step in reactivating the University’s participation in major sports competition, disclosed that Olajide was the first FUNAAB student to represent Nigeria in athletics at the World Junior Level despite participating in various international competitions over the years.
He stated that Olajide had participated in various athletic events in the University and across the nation before now, stressing that she has also been winning in recent times at various sport competitions.
While speaking on what led to her participation at the World Championship, Dr. Olabanji revealed that Olajide was spotted by the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) during a competition in Asaba where she emerged the winner, after which she was called upon to test her strength in the midst of other athletes by competing with both local and international athletes.
He however appealed to the Management to continue with the rehabilitation of the sport facilities to enable the Centre help in the continuous training of students.
Last Updated on September 9, 2021 by FUNAAB