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Sunday, 01 October 2023 06:40

Segun Odegbami: Sport, as medicine – the first and last prescriptions!

What many people do not know about me is my relationship with the health sector.

Almost 20 years ago, I was invited to consult for the Nigerian Heart Foundation, NHF, on Sports (Golf specifically). That relationship eventually took me to Jomo Kenyatta University as part of a team of medical scholars researching ‘Active Transport’ in some African countries, including Nigeria. By the way, Active Transport is the quantum of physical activity a person does on a daily basis.

After that, the NHF facilitated my invitation as a resource person to the 13th World Public Health Congress in Ethiopia some years later, where I presented a paper on the effect of intensive sports on young children in my specialist sports ‘laboratory’ in Wasimi, Ogun State, an institution for boys and girls interested in combining their passion for sport with a sound education. The sports academy continues to flourish 17 years after, its products shining like a million stars wherever they perch. Many of them have enjoyed scholarships to several universities in the United States; a few have graduated and are now playing professional football in some European countries; some are in an Indian IT University gaining invaluable education and still playing their football; one played professional tennis in Europe; and another is, probably, the tallest basketball player in the world at the moment, plying his trade in Dubai.

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