About 160 teenage girls have been empowered with education, leadership and basketball skills at the just concluded Hope4Girls Africa National Basketball development camp in Lagos.
The girls, aged 11 to 15, who were drawn from schools in Borno, Abuja, Ibadan, Kaduna, Delta, Ogun, Lagos and Ghana, among others, were hosted at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium in Lagos for the four-day camp.
The founder of Hope4Girls Africa, Mobolaji Akiode, said the camp, which holds yearly, is aimed at mentoring young girls to develop and utilise their basketball skills to enable them tap into abundant opportunities the game offers, as well as giving them a push to further their studies in school.
She added that it would also enable the young girls compete with their peers internationally in basketball competitions.“My goal is to empower as many young girls as possible, so that when they grow up, they can empower others. The game has opened many opportunities for me. We need to let people know that Nigerians are talented in all sports, not only in football.
“I have about seven girls that I mentored who are currently in the United States, studying there; they are in the universities and secondary schools. That’s the most fun part for me – working for the girls. It’s been a great fun mentoring them and seeing them grown up into young women; it not only about basketball, but about life and seeing the females doing great things in life.”
She further added: “For 2018, we are hoping to support more girls in school. The greatest joy I will get out of this program is when it becomes part of Nigeria girl society, bringing hopes to our girls as they get educated and empowered.
Akiode who is also an ex-D’ Tigress national player said, there are opportunities to invest in the sport sector, while she descried government neglect and focus on other sectors. She, however, charged the government to increase investment in sports as well as support female talent discovery and nurturing in the country.