Super Falcons assistant coach Maureen Madu believes that Nigeria has the potential to dominate continental and global sporting space if more and genuine attention is paid to grassroots sports, Completesports.com reports.
Madu spoke at the Con-Vaj Hotel and Event Centre, July 27, when she was honoured with the award of Excellence in Sports by the Rotary Club of Nnewi.
The event was part of the activities marking the investiture of Ada Ifepe Edward as the 7th President of Rotary Club, Nnewi.
It was a second colourful feather on Madu’s cap in one month after she was inducted into the Nigerian Women Hall of Fame on June 27 alongside Senator Oluremi Tinubu and others for emerging first Nigerian woman coach to lead a European club, Avaldsnes IL of Norway.
She is also the first Super Falcons player to make 100 appearances for the senior women’s national team.
Maureen Madu, 44, is the first Super Falcons player to feature in four Women’s World Cup finals as well as in two Summer Olympic Games (2000 and 2004).
“I’m happy about the recognition, I’m pleased with this award. I thank most sincerely the organisers of this event, Rotary Club of Nnewi,” Madu said.
“It’s (the award) about grassroots development. Nigeria is blessed with lots of talents out there at the grassroots but getting them out is the issue.
“I was discovered from the grassroots, and I know how it is at that level. So I’m dedicating this award for grassroots development”, Madu said.
Madu is also a patron of Nnewi United, a second tier league team, Nigeria National League, NNL.
She reckons that the future of sports in Nigeria lies in the grassroots, saying such realisation has continued to propel her to do more.
“With focus, dedication and discipline, success will come. Our upcoming players, especially those in the grassroots should bear this in mind,” Madu emphasised.
In an illustrious career that spanned over 13 years, Madu starred for several European Women’s clubs that included Avaldsnes, Linkopings (both of Norway, ) QB IK of Sweden, Klep IL and Kolbotn Oslo.
She was later named head coach of Avaldsnes B team and as well assistant coach of Avaldsnes senior team.
By San Osuji