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Nigerian Olympic legacy programme set to enrich thousands

The Nigerian Government has released a new report on the success of the international Olympic Legacy programme, International Inspiration, highlighting its plan to ensure the programme thrives and continue to impact upon thousands more young people across the country. 

The four-year programme in Nigeria has led to on-going partnerships between government and sports federations, initiated under the international sports legacy programme led by UK Sport in partnership with UNICEF and the British Council.

Speaking at a conference to formally conclude International Inspiration and launch the government report, Director of International Development at UK Sport and programme Director of International Inspiration, Debbie Lye, addressed delegates to thank them for one of the most successful partnerships under the Olympic legacy partnership.

The programme has reached 271,350 children and young people of whom 197,000 have remained regularly engaged in sport. External evaluators have verified that 1,861 practitioners, coaches, teachers and young sports leaders have been trained to deliver sports activities and there are hopes from Nigerian partners that this number will double.

One of the key successes is the Kids Athletics programme run in partnership with the International Associations of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which has helped introduce athletics into school through training teachers to deliver activities without the need for specialist coaches.

Sport is also keeping young people in school, with Nigerian head teachers reporting increased levels of attendance and punctuality on days when sport and physical activities are scheduled.

The result of enthused children and teachers and a recognisable impact on school attendance has led to the drafting of a new School Sports Policy so that thousands more children across Nigeria can benefit from school sport.

International Inspiration continues to empower groups around the world and has so far enriched the lives of over 14 million children in 20 countries.

Debbie Lye says: “International Inspiration began with a very ambitious vision to support sport and education worldwide, but the continued support of countries like Nigeria are a true example to the power sport has to change lives and create sustainable systems for future generations. I hope the successful partnership between the UK and Nigeria will continue to deliver results beyond International Inspiration.”

Special Advisor to the Minister of State for Education in Nigeria, Dr. Eric Oyewoh hailed International Inspiration for the impact it has had on both teachers and pupils alike.

He said: "The International Inspiration programme has brought great capacity to deliver the physical education and sport curriculum. The benefits of sport in schools is being seen not only in the increased amount of physical activity, but also by the attendance rates among disaffected girls and boys."