- Nigerian youths have been advised to embrace motorsports as an alternative for empowering themselves
- The advice was given by Terlumun Ikya, an official of the Automobile and Touring Club of Nigeria who stated that motorsport is an all-comers sport
- Ikya also encouraged the private sector in Nigeria to invest in the sport like it is done in other climes
This advice was given by the Secretary-General for Sports, Automobile and Touring Club of Nigeria, ATCN, Terlumun Ikya, at the 2021 Festival of Motorsport in Nigeria held on Saturday, July 18 at the Central Park, Abuja, and attended by a Legit.ng reporter.
“It is the richest sport in the world. We are looking to encourage Nigerians to also build a career in motorsports. For those who are interested, my advice to them is that they should go for it. We are always here to develop motorsport.”
Asked why motorsport is considered as a game for the elites, Ikya said:
“It is used to be. But, carting for example, which is a grassroots sport, the foundation of all motorsports is not an elite sport. It is an all-comers sport.
“In Nigeria, we are also trying to encourage the private sector to come into motorsport in terms of funding. Everywhere in the world. The racers are not wealthy people. They don't come from rich homes. What you have is teams sponsored by corporate organisations.
“We are also hoping to create that kind of atmosphere in Nigeria where we can encourage people to set up teams and encourage the private sector to come in and fund those teams so these teams can compete in various categories.”
At the event, John Paul Nenger, a 14-year-old student of Capital Science Academy, Kuje, emerged as the winner of the Senior Karting Championship.
By virtue of his triumph, Nenger will represent Nigeria in the Karting senior category at the FIA Motorsport Games in Marseille, France in October.
Speaking to journalists, the president of ATCN, Ishaku Bamaiyi, said Nenger will be trained to compete against other contenders at the World FIA Motorsport Games.
“Since he is the winner, we will train him on the pro kart, which is a higher level of the rental carts, which you know can change the gear and go over 100 km per hour and move faster than others.”
Also speaking, Nenger promised to make Nigeria proud when he competes on the world stage.
“I will be well prepared for the FIA Motorsport Games. I intend to set up small from here, hopefully, I will get a chance by the time I get to France and from there on I will find my rhythm.”
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Asked what Nigerians should expect for him at the global competition, he said:
“They should be expecting a lot more and I promise to be the new Formula One driver.”
Recall that two months ago, the deputy governor of Zamfara state, Madi Aliyu Gusau advised the Nigerian government to embrace motorsport as an avenue to address the issue of unemployment in the country.
Gusau, a former motorsport champion, gave the advice at the unveiling ceremony of the Nigeria motorsport games in Abuja.
He stated that motor racing can help the government address the challenges of unemployment in the country.
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that at the event, Nigerian artiste, Oladipo Daniel Oyebanjo, popularly known as D’banj, was unveiled as captain of the Racing Nigeria Motorsport Team.
The appointment of D'banj is in preparation for the Federation International de l’ Automobile (FIA) World Championships in October which Nigeria is expected to participate in.
Reacting to his appointment as the team captain, D'banj said he is excited and looking forward to Nigeria winning.