Athletics experts say that beneficiaries of the Mobil Producing Nigeria sponsored athletics camping programme for schools and colleges in Akwa Ibom State, have justified the three weeks old programme as they made high marks at the recently concluded first National Youth Games in Abuja.
Representing Akwa Ibom in the competition, the athletes accounted for 17 of the 31 medals won by the state. A spokesman of the Akwa Ibom State sports ministry who gave the figures during the week, said of the 13 gold, 11 silver and 7 bronze medals the state won, the “Mobil athletes” won 6 gold, 7 silver and 4 bronze medals.
“The yearly athletics programme sponsored by Mobil in the state has always been appreciated, but perhaps we did not know the real impact of it until we took the athletes to Abuja after their camping programme in Calabar and they excelled.
“You can imagine only one sport giving us as many medals then one begins to wonder what would have happened if other sports had benefitted from the same interest Mobil shows to track and field here,” the official said.
Specifically, Aniekeme Alphonsus Etim emerged the fastest youth in the land when she won the 100 and 200 metres event. Gold also went to Stella Patrick-Etuk in javelin and Maria Clement Joseph in high jump.
In the boys category, Idara Eshiett and Saturday Okon William won the javelin and discuss events respectively.
The silver winners were Esther Henry in 100 metres; Iniobong Sunday Akpan in Javelin; Bright Ikpe Tom in 100m hurdles; Chidinma Kalu in shot put; Deborah Sunday Emmanuel in 400m and the medley relay race.
Last August, Mobil Producing Nigeria facilitated the camping and training of 160 winners of its 2011 and 2012 grassroots development competition.