By George Aluo
Director of the University of Port Harcourt IAAF/CAA High Performance Centre, Prof Ken Anugweje says the centre needs expatriate coaches, especially those from Cuba and Eastern Europe.
Anugweje whose centre played host to the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) boss, Hammed Kalkaba early this week urged the President of the African athletics governing body to assist in attracting the coaches to the centre.
“We need coaches from Cuba and Eastern Europe and our appeal is for CAA to help us attract these coaches,” Anugweje told Kalkaba and his team.
Kalkaba had during the visit said CAA would not only assist the University in the area of coaches but ensure that the Athletics High Performance Center becomes one of the best in the world soon.
Tracing the origin of the center to 2013, Kalkaba recollected that Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) President, Solomon Ogba, brought former IAAF President, Lamine Diack, to the University of Port Harcourt where he was conferred with a honourary doctor of philosophy degree.
Said Kalkaba: “We all supported Ogba’s idea and today it is now a reality.’’
Kalkaba argued that African athletes have all they need to excel in Africa and do not need to travel abroad to train or change nationalities before they can become the best in the world.
“We will support this High Performance Centre to become one of the best in the world,” Kalkaba said.
Anthony Ibe, the deputy Vice Chancellor, who received Kalkaba and his entourage on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, thanked CAA for choosing to partner with the University of Port Harcourt.
Ibe said it could have been any other city or university. He stressed that having a good center has numerous advantages which Nigeria would exploit to excel in athletics.
AFN President, Solomon Ogba, thanked the University for being a good host and contributing in so many ways to the development of the center, especially in the area of manpower.