20th NSF: 10-year-old gold medalist requests support for Olympic dream
Stephanie Onusiriuka, a 10-year-old gold medalist in gymnastics, has appealed for support to realise her dream of participating in the Olympics.
The gymnast, who represented Anambra at the National Sports Festival (NSF) in Benin, won a gold medal in aerobics, a silver medal each in the “Floor” and “Best-All-Round” category, and a bronze medal on Beam exercise.
Miss Onusiriuka, who participated in the sports festival for the first time, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Benin on Wednesday that she was excited about the victory.
“I feel very happy because this is my first National Sports Festival,” she said. “Though I was scared of the other opponents at some point because they were doing ‘double back’, ‘double Arabian’ and ‘falling.’”
Speaking further, she noted, “In the next 10 years, I see myself in the Olympics. But I ask the government to give us better equipment so that I can be able to do my ‘double back’ myself.”
Amaka Onusiriuka, Stephanie’s mother, with her daughter at the event, added, “I feel so happy and proud because I have been supporting her all this while, taking her to the gym and helping her build her talent.
“The Anambra state government is doing its best for the sports festival, but Stephanie actually needs more support for her to go for her training tours outside the country.”
Expressing confidence in her daughter, she stated, “I see Stephanie winning medals in the Olympics before or in the next 10 years.
“But I would need people to sponsor her trips and her competitions because she won a gold medal when she went to South Africa two years ago at just eight years old, and it was all from my pocket, no support from anybody.
“I feel if anybody is willing to support her and make her dream come true, we would really appreciate it. She has four countries to tour beginning in June: Seychelles, South Africa, U.S. Dubai ( UAE), and she also has other competitions.
“If anybody sees the talents she has and is willing to support her, we will appreciate it.”
On his part, the 10-year-old’s coach, Tony Asuquo, said, “We are going to Seychelles, and we are going to South Africa for a training tour in the University of Pretoria.
“We have a competition in Boston and another in Dubai if the pandemic allows, but all we need for Stephanie the support.
“Anybody that is ready to support her, any sport-loving Nigerian that can invest in this girl (Stephanie), your money will not be a waste, I promise you.
“She is only 10 years old, and she is already performing an Olympic standard skill in that class.
“Stephanie’s parents are not that rich to sponsor her here and there. But I believe we have Nigerians that can do this for us,” Asuquo said.
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