March 8 is set out annually to commemorate the struggle for women’s rights. 2017 theme is ‘Be Bold For Change’.
March 8 is set out annually to commemorate the struggle for women’s rights. The theme for 2017 International Women's Day is ‘Be Bold For Change’.
1. Asisat Oshoala: Super Falcons striker
The reigning queen of African women’s football, Asisat Oshoala continues to be the face of women’s sports in Nigeria.
Oshoala who plays for Dalian Quanjian F.C. in China has represented Nigeria at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, U-20 Women’s World Cup and two Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON). The 22-year-old won the golden boot at the 2016 AWCON scoring six goals as the Super Falcons won the title.
Using her influence to give back to the society, the former Arsenal Ladies star hosts an annual football completion for U-18 women footballers in Lagos.
2. Blessing Okagbare: Athlete
Okagbare continues to be one of the leading faces of women sports in Nigeria. The Olympics and World Championships medalist holds the Women's 100 metres Commonwealth Games record for the fastest time at 10.85 seconds. Her 100 m best of 10.79 makes her the African record holder for the event.
She was African 100 m and long jump champion in 2010. She has also won medals at the All-Africa Games and the IAAF Continental Cup.
She has competed at three Olympic Games.
3. Chierika Ukogu (Rowing)
In a country where any sport other than football hardly gets any attention, Ukogu has managed to become influential with a very ‘foreign’ sport.
Ukogu turned Nigerians to cheer her when she represented Nigeria in the Women’s Singles Sculls event at Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The 24-year-old who is the first Nigerian to represent the country in rowing, is a graduate of Stanford University and trained with the US team before the Olympics.
She impressed at the Olympics too, finishing second in Final D of Women’s Singles Sculls event.
Sadly that didn’t give her a medal as her time of finish 7:44.76 meant she finished 20th in the overall final result.
4. Paralympics Women’s Team
They deserve to be named individually on this list, but to keep it short and succinct, we have decided to put them all together in number four.
After the disappointment of not getting a medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic, the Team Nigeria to Paralympics won 12 medals- 8 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze- to finish 17th in the medals table, the top-ranked African country. The core of that Team Nigeria is made up of amazing athletes like Ejike Lucy (Powerlifting), Onye Laurita (Shot-put), Nwosu Ndidi (Powerlifting), Omolayo Bose (Powerlifting), Josephine Orji (Powerlifting) and Flora Ugwunwa (Javelin).
They are won gold in their respective events.
5. Florence Omagbemi: Coach of the Super Falcons
This list would be incomplete without the mention of Florence Omagbemi who is the coach of the Super Falcons- Nigeria's Women’s senior football team.
An icon in Nigerian women’s football, Omagbemi represented the Super Falcons in four different FIFA Women’s World Cup from China 1991 to USA 2003.
She was a member of the golden generation of the Super Falcons that reached the second round at USA 1999, where Nigeria narrowly lost the semifinal ticket to Brazil.
She led the Falcons to win the AWCON title in 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004 and also led the team to appear for the first time at Sydney 2000 Olympics Game.
In December 2016, she led the Super Falcons to the AWCON trophy, becoming the first woman to win the title as a player and a coach.