Be role models, minister tasks AFFAN members

By Ummi Ismaeel

The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Pauline Tallen, has asked members of the Association of Former Female Athletes of Nigeria (AFFAN) to be role models and give good account of themselve in the society.
The minister gave the advice during the formal inauguration of AFFAN/Unveiling of the GirlsRGame: Impacting the future, which took place on Saturday at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Event Centre, Abuja.
Tallen spoke through Dr. Nwanganga Ibe. She said that the time has come for the female gender to prove that they could do better than male counterparts if given the same opportunity especially in sports and other areas of endeavour hence the need to strive for higher grounds
to conquer.
She commended the AFFAN for adding to the voice calling for equal recognition of female gender because women and ladies have not been found wanting in proving their worth in any assignment given to them in government and other spheres of life.
The president of the association, Dr. Esther Oluwatoyin Aluko, had in her address said that AFFAN was a gathering for women and ladies who have made Nigeria proud in various fields of sports and are willing to make sacrifices to encourage more girls into sports.
Aluko pointed out that AFFAN was not competing with any similar existing bodies, but to among others; promote and protect
gender balance in sports with a view to ensuring elimination of all forms of abuses and discrimination against female gender in sports.
“We are determined to be a voice to the female athletes in Nigeria using the vehicle of sports to ameliorate the numerous challenges they face through right mentorship, advocacy against all forms of sexual harassment and as well inspire confidence in them that it is possible to excel in both sports and academics”. Papers were presented by some ex-female sports champions including;
Prof. B B Lafiaji-Okuneye and Prof. Olufunmilayo Leah Dominic whose paper titled, “Challenges Facing Female Athletes in Nigeria”, dwelt
largely on how to eliminate all forms of discrimination and abuses against female gender in sports.

Highlights of the occasion include; recognition and presentation of gifts/awards to some co-sponsors of the AFFAN projects and former
female national champions, including Nigeria’s 1964 national Table Tennis champion and former National Women Coach for National Sports Commission between 1979 and 1984, Pastor (Mrs.) Bilikisu Bola Popoola.

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