Sports

Mikel’s Back2Base talent hunt programme begins June 9

Former Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi, is set to create an opportunity for young Nigerian athletes to showcase their talents.

Mikel, who started out as an academy player in Jos, Plateau State, and rose to the highest level, leading the national team to both the World Cup and Olympic Games, said he is keen to create a pathway for others to succeed through sports the same way he did.

The 35-year Mikel, who is one of the only three Nigerians to have lifted the prestigious UEFA Champions League trophy, is ready to use his new Back2Base programme to uplift hundreds of other young talented Nigerians.

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The former midfielder, who featured for big clubs abroad, including Chelsea, is also willing to put to use his global connections to help the talented young Nigerians not just in football, but also in basketball and tennis.

The maiden edition of the Back2Base programme will take place between June 9 and 11 at the University of Lagos, Sports Centre, Yaba. 

“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them,” Mikel said. “Someone created an opportunity for me and it’s been a dream of mine to do the same for young, talented Nigerian athletes.”

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In 2021, the Federal Government of Nigeria appointed Mikel as one of its Youth Ambassadors. He declared: “I would like to announce the first edition of my Back2Base program, which will give aspiring professional athletes the opportunity to showcase their talents in sports like Football, Basketball and Tennis.”

Aside from providing a platform for the youngsters to showcase their talents, Mikel who is well known for his philanthropic gestures also promises to reward the outstanding youngsters with cash gifts.
 
He said: “A monetary price will be awarded to the most promising athletes across the three sports. They will also be hosted to an exclusive dinner with me where a mentorship session will be held. 

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The three-day event will also afford young kids a rear privilege to see and have photo opportunity with Mikel’s Champions League medals. This event is free for all.

For Mikel, giving a chance to someone to live his/her dreams is a worthy course worth pursuing.

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