There’s a sense of joy that comes with watching others succeed, especially when you’re a part of the process. I witnessed this in action throughout the months of August and September, when three of our athletes, Blessing Oladoye, Emmanuel Ojeli and Joy Udo-Gabriel were chosen as part of the track and field team, representing Nigeria in the All African Games, in Morocco, followed by both Joy and Blessing qualifying for the Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Over the days in which they competed, our team felt excitement and nervousness on their behalf as we crowded around our screens and watched them turn months of training and dedication into bare seconds of speed on the tracks. It is safe to say that we felt proud when they returned home with 3 medals in tow from the African games, (Joy clinched a gold medal in the women’s 4 x 100m relay, Blessing replicated the same feat in the 4 x 400m team and Emmanuel brought home a bronze medal in the mens’ 4 x 400m relay team).
Though they were unable to replicate a similar feat at the World Championships, I am certain that the wealth of experience they gained from the encounter alone, was its own kind of medal too. And If for one second we ever forget what it is we’re doing here, their success reminds me of the words of Helen Keller, that always rings true. ‘Alone, we can do so little, but together, we can do so much.’