Lauritta Onye, a 2016 Paralympic gold medallist in the F40 shot put category, has described as discouraging to athletes the long hours spent on training without competitions to test their skills.
Onye told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday that athletes needed to participate in competitions to know their level of improvement.
She said that since she attended the 2016 Paralympic Games, she had not been privileged to participate in any international competition.
“I am seeking sponsorship; a champion that is training needs to participate in tournaments to defend his or her title.
“Since I went to Rio Paralympic 2016 where I threw 8.40 metres, I haven’t participated in any tournament.
“Therefore, no measurement, because the world only knows my best as 8.40 metres. There is no new thing like whether I am improving or not,’’ she said.
Onye, who is also a 2015 World gold medallist, said she wished that there were sponsors who would readily come to the support of para-athletes in Nigeria.
“I wish that we can have sponsors whereby Nigeria can host championships. All these help athletes to improve in sports,’’ she said
The athlete also appealed to the Ministry of Sports, government and philanthropists to sponsor athletes for 2020 Olympics qualifiers holding in various countries.
“I wish that the sports ministry, governments and individuals can sponsor athletes to all the listed championships that will serve as 2020 Olympic qualifiers in countries like United Arab Emirates (UAE), Switzerland, Italy, Tunisia, Germany, France,’’ she said.
Onye said that she would continue to train and hone her skill to ensure she was ready for any competition in case a sponsor emerged.
“My target is to keep training hard in order to win gold in case we get a sponsor for any international competition,’’ she said. (NAN)