By Yabagi Mohammed
Boxing Chief Coach in Kogi State, Coach Daniel Uloko has raised an alarm about the deluge of exodus being experienced by the sport in the state due to lack of sponsorship and concern by stakeholders.
Coach Uloko, expressed disappointment about the situation, saying that boxers from the state, have continued to join other states of the federation and other fields of endeavors because Kogi State lacks the required support it needs.
The former International, who mentioned that Delta, Lagos, Edo and others have continued to reap where they did not sow said the situation could not be blamed entirely on these states but the system Kogi finds itself.
According to him, the situation has also led to the systematic victimization of some athletes who have stuck their guns for the state by some individuals at the national level.
He gave the example of one of the elite boxers from the state, Ekele Dan-Uloko, who was recently denied the opportunity to represent the country at the national Camp for the Olympics Qualifiers where the athlete was dropped in favour of another one brought in from overseas despite the Kogi-born athlete being better by all standards.
He also refuted insinuations in some quarters that his son has continued to excel in the sport because of favoritism that he enjoys in his position as the son of the coach, saying that he invests his personal finances to sponsor the son most of the times, hence the continuous growth of the athlete.
He therefore enjoined government and other spirited individuals to assist the sport by employing new boxers and sportsmen into the game in Kogi State and be prepared to give necessary encouragement to move the game forward.