National Athletics Coach Jonny Igboka has been honoured with the prestigious Achievers Medal by his community, Nimo in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra for his contributions to the development of sports and the town.
Igboka, a former national high jumper, received the honour when Nimo held its maiden “Ilu Ogbo’’ festival in 2017 ended.
No fewer than 200 male and female indigenes who attained 80 years and above were also celebrated.
The coach, who was adorned with the Nimo Achievers Medal, was recognised for establishing the All Sports Foundation Academy (ASFAN), Nimo, which served as a breeding ground for national and international champions.
Conferring the award on him, the President-General of Nimo, Frank Igboka, said the honour was to encourage others to work for the unity and development of the town through their chosen fields.
The president-general urged Igboka not to relent in his efforts but to work more assiduously to bring out the best in the youths of Anambra and Nigeria.
“You are a great sports personality, you were an athlete at international level and now you are a coach, taking our athletes to competitions and bringing back glory, Nimo is happy with you.
“You also established a sports academy here in Nimo where children from all over the country come and train; it is in recognition of all these that we give you this award,’’ he said.
Responding, Igboka said he was overwhelmed that his community found him worthy of an honour.
He said he was doing his job out of the passion for sports and youths mentorship but was not aware that his activities were being monitored.
Igboka thanked his community for the rare honour and promised to work harder to put Nimo on the national map through greater contributions to the country’s sports.
He expressed appreciation to the community for providing him with the space for his academy and pledged to make the best use of the privilege.
Igboka seized the opportunity to call on Anambra Government, corporate organisations and kind-hearted individuals to come to the academy’s aid with equipment and facilities in the interest of the nation’s sports.
“I thank my community for this ward, I promise to do more in what I like doing.
“Most of what I do is through my academy which is a breeding ground for budding athletes, my appeal is that ASFAN should be well equipped.
“I call on lovers of sports to come and see what we are doing here in ASFAN and help us to put in place the basic equipment we need.