NSF: 10-year-old gold medalist appeals for support to realise Olympic dream

Stephanie Onusiriuka, a 10-year-old gold medalist in Gymnastics has appealed for support to enable her to realise her dream of participating in the Olympics.

Stephanie Onusiriuka.

The gymnast, who represented Anambra at the National Sports Festival (NSF) in Benin, won a gold medal in Aerobics, a silver medal each in Floor and Best-All-Round category and a bronze medal on Beam exercise.

Onusiriuka, who is also participating in the National Sports Festival for the first time, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Wednesday that she was excited about the victory.

“I feel very happy because this is my first National Sports Festival.

“Though I was scared of the other opponents at some point because they were doing ‘double back’, ‘double Arabian’ and ‘falling’.

“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,” she said.

Amaka Onusiriuka, Stephanie’s mum who has been present with her daughter for over a week at the event, appealed for financial support to help the gymnast realise her dreams.

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.

“This support Anambra state is giving is just for the National Sports Festival and that’s where it ends so every other thing comes from her parents.

“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 from 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,” she said.

On his part, her coach Tony Asuquo promised that any investment on the gymnast would not go to waste.

“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 one 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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