Last weekend Bradford welcomed the Olympic torch to the city and now with less than 30 days to go until the London 2012 Olympic Games begin, Bradford College and the University of Bradford have welcomed some of the world’s top athletes, including the Nigerian Boxing Federation.
The Nigerian Boxing Federation’s final warm up before the London Olympics has seen the team set up at the Pre games training camp at Bradford College’s state-of-the-art Trinity Green Campus in preparation for the games, while the University of Bradford will provide gym and other sports facilities at Unique Fitness & Lifestyle and a range of physiotherapy support in the University’s new state of the art School of Health Building.
Male boxers Muideen Akanji (75kg) and Lukman Lawal (81kg) have qualified for the Olympic event, along with Edith Agu-Ogoke (75kg) who will be competing in the first ever female Olympic boxing tournament.
The world-class Olympic athletes will use the new state of the art £300,000 Boxing Centre, a facility part funded by the ABA (Amateur boxing Association), the college and the University, which is located in the heart of Trinity Green Campus during their pre-Olympic training session. The Centre forms part of the £19.4 million Trinity Green Sports Complex, which includes 120-bed accommodation for squads, visiting teams and a fully-equipped sports centre.
International Project Manager, Ronnie Todd said: “It’s absolutely tremendous that the Nigerian Boxing Federation want to use our facilities and our outstanding coaches to prepare for what is the most unique event in British sports history.”
“The Nigerian Boxing team will work with Kevin Smith (former Scotland National Team Coach) and Mally MacIver (Assistant Coach) at the College and University’s top class facilities to condition these international athletes ready for the actual competition.”
Kevin Smith will accompany the team to the Olympic tournament as the Head Boxing Coach of the Nigerian Boxing Federation. Paul Porter, Bradford Boxing Development Officer, has also been seconded as the official Boxing Field of Play Manager for the London Organisation Committee to the Olympic Games.
Commenting on becoming the Nigerian Head Coach, Kevin Smith said: “It’s a great honour and privilege to be asked to assist the Nigerian Boxing Federation in their Olympic endeavours.”
Coach Mally MacIver who successfully coached University student Saira Tabasum to a national title added: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to work with these top level athletes. I have done quite a lot of work with Edith Agu-Ogoke in preparation for the first-ever female Olympic tournament.”
The University of Bradford’s £10m award winning School of Health Studies building has both a movement laboratory and physiotherapy practice suites that the Nigerian team will benefit from in their last few weeks before the games.
Hilary Pape, lecturer in Physiotherapy will be on hand with other staff and students to deliver treatments to the team. She said: “We’re very excited to have the Nigerian Olympic Boxing team at the University receiving treatment to keep them in good condition for the games. The School of Health studies are proud to have facilities for students to use that will enhance their clinical skills ensuring that they graduate with excellent employability opportunities. So, it’s no surprise that our physiotherapy clinic is one that offers treatment to staff, students, members of the public and now an Olympic team.
Both the college and university recently had an inspection visit from the President of the Nigerian Boxing Federation, General Ktgmininah and National Sports Commission Deputy Director, Mr Ykmut Al-Hassain of the outstanding facilities. They were both very impressed with the facilities available to the Nigerian Boxing Federation.