When Aruna Quadri achieved the impossible at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, he became an instant hero and talk of the town across the globe that the Ministry of Sports began to use his performance as yardstick to Team Nigeria success in Brazil.
Even the Nigeria Olympic Committee under the leadership of Habu Gummel, tagged him the “shining star of Rio”.
But just few weeks after the Olympic Games, the 2014 ITTF Star is yet to get any tangible support from those that have been praise-singing him in order for him to be able to feature in as many competitions as possible as part of his preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.
Quadri, who has continued to shoulder his bills to series of competitions before and after the Olympic Games, could not hold back his frustration after his early exit from the just concluded ITTF World Cup in Saarbrucken, Germany.
He said: “I have been faced with big challenge in my career and I am fully ready to face it with more hard work.
“The support I got from the Ministry of Sports before, during and after the Rio Olympic Games is zero.
“My training grant was not paid in Rio and all the expenses I incurred in getting ready for the Olympic Games was not paid. Even the expenses we incurred while camped in Lagos before the Olympic Games was not settled in Rio.
“So the support from Ministry is zero.
“I can say that I sponsored myself to the World Cup because I am getting no support from those in charge of sports in Nigeria and for that reason I did not bother myself a lot.
“I had to offset all my expenses to represent my country at the tournament without the support of my government.
“It is now I really need support from Nigeria in order to get better in future.
“Since government is not helping, I really need support from individuals and companies from my home country and if i get sponsors from Nigeria, my results will be better than my previous results.
“I must also say that Nigeria is not worth dying for in sports because support, motivation and encouragement of athletes are not always the administrators and government priority.
“But whenever you remember how your fans are praying, supporting and cheering you in your home country, I can conclude that the country is worth dying for.
“Also when you also think of how some good administrators support athletes and take athletes welfare as their major priority, you can also say that Nigeria is worth dying for in sports and a good example of this sports administrator in Nigeria is the President of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation, Wahid Oshodi.
“The journey to the top in every area of life has always been very hard, tough and difficult because at the earlier stage of my career, the biggest problem was how to get equipment, feeding and transportation.
“I must also confess that it has not been very easy at all.
“But I can boldly say that Barrister Wahid Oshodi brought me to the top from nowhere.
“He supported me in all areas of my career and despite his unlimited supports, the biggest challenge has always been that I have to compensate him with good results.
“Sometimes you get tired in practice because you have no support from your government and even sometimes you get tired because despite your hardwork, the results are not forthcoming.
“But I always have it on my mind that my hard work will definitely paid off.”