CAA President, Hamad Kalkaba Malboum presenting the signed Protocol agreement to Mrs Hauwa-Kulu Akinyemi, Director, Sports Planning Research and Documentation at the Nigerian Sports Commission, during the signing ceremony at the Grand Stade de Marrakech.

The Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) on Thursday signed a protocol agreement (d’un protocole d’accord) with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) on the establishment of a high performance training centre (HPC) at the University of Port-Harcourt.

The International Association of Athletics Federations () certified centre is nearing completion at the University of Port-Harcourt (UNIPORT) in the southern part of Nigeria.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, on the last day of the just concluded 19th African Athletics Championships 2014 in Marrakech, Morocco, the President, , revealed that the African athletics body and world body, IAAF, decided to establish the centre at the UNIPORT “because it will give athletes the opportunity to train and study, “this has been our dream for so long, but I thank God that the dream is now a reality.”

Kalkaba-Malboum said countries with rich tradition in track and field in Africa like Nigeria and South Africa, must assist smaller countries to achieve their potentials by providing assistance in all areas.

The Nigerian government was represented by: the Minister at the Embassy of Nigeria in Morocco, Lawal Bappah; President of the AFN, ; Director of sports, University of Port Harcourt, Dr. Ken Anuweje; Technical Director of the AFN, Navy Commodore ; Special Assistant to director-general of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Mary Onyali-Omagbemi; and director, sports planning, research and documentation at the National Sports Commission, Hauwa Kulu-Akinyemi.

In her response, Mrs Kulu-Akinyemi, who signed the agreement on behalf of Nigeria, thanked the CAA delegation which included vice presidents Vivian Gungaram (Mauritius), Theophile Montcho (Benin) and Violet Odogwu-Nwajei (Nigeria) for establishing the centre in the country.

She stated that she’s 100 per cent sure that the centre will be a success because in its infancy, the centre has produced potential world-beaters like , winner of the women’s long jump gold medals at both Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and Marrakech 2014 Africa Athletics Championships and – a 200m finalist in Marrakech.

The director of the Port Harcourt HPC and AFN’s technical director, Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama also thanked the CAA for their faith in Nigeria and promised the centre will justified such faith and fulfill its objectives.

Event photos

CAA President, Hamad Kalkaba Malboum flanked by Mrs Hauwa-Kulu Akinyemi, Director, Nigerian Sports Commission, CAA Vice President, Theophile Montcho and other dignitaries during the signing ceremony at the Grand Stade de Marrakech/Photo credit: Yomi Omogbeja

CAA President, Hamad Kalkaba Malboum flanked by Mrs Hauwa Kulu-Akinyemi, Director, Nigerian Sports Commission, CAA Vice President, Theophile Montcho and other dignitaries during the signing ceremony at the Grand Stade de Marrakech/Photo credit: Yomi Omogbeja

CAA President, Hamad Kalkaba Malboum displays the signed Protocol agreement, flanked by Mrs Hauwa-Kulu Akinyemi, Director, Sports Planning Research and Documentation at the Nigerian Sports Commission and CAA Vice President, Theophile Montcho, during the signing ceremony at the Grand Stade de Marrakech/Photo credit: Yomi Omogbeja

CAA President, Hamad Kalkaba Malboum displays the signed Protocol agreement, flanked by Mrs Hauwa Kulu-Akinyemi, Director, Sports Planning Research and Documentation at the Nigerian Sports Commission and CAA Vice President, Theophile Montcho, during the signing ceremony at the Grand Stade de Marrakech/Photo credit: Yomi Omogbeja

Nigerian delegates led by Mrs Hauwa-Kulu Akinyemi, Director, Sports Planning Research and Documentation, NSC, AFN President Solomon Ogba with the CAA President during the signing ceremony at the Grand Stade de Marrakech/Photo credit: Yomi Omogbeja

Nigerian delegates led by Mrs Hauwa-Kulu Akinyemi, Director, Sports Planning Research and Documentation, NSC, AFN President Solomon Ogba with the CAA President during the signing ceremony at the Grand Stade de Marrakech/Photo credit: Yomi Omogbeja

CAA President, Hamad Kalkaba Malboum presenting the signed Protocol agreement to Mrs Hauwa-Kulu Akinyemi, Director, Sports Planning Research and Documentation at the Nigerian Sports Commission, during the signing ceremony at the Grand Stade de Marrakech/Photo credit: Yomi Omogbeja

CAA President, Hamad Kalkaba Malboum presenting the signed Protocol agreement to Mrs Hauwa-Kulu Akinyemi, Director, Sports Planning Research and Documentation at the Nigerian Sports Commission, during the signing ceremony at the Grand Stade de Marrakech/Photo credit: Yomi Omogbeja

Mrs Hauwa-Kulu Akinyemi, Director, Sports Planning Research and Documentation, NSC, flanked by former African queen of the track, Mary Onyali-Omagbemi and CAA Vice President Violet Odogwu-Nwajei during the signing ceremony at the Grand Stade de Marrakech / Photo credit: Yomi Omogbeja

Mrs Hauwa-Kulu Akinyemi, Director, Sports Planning Research and Documentation, NSC, flanked by former African queen of the track, Mary Onyali-Omagbemi and CAA Vice President Violet Odogwu-Nwajei during the signing ceremony at the Grand Stade de Marrakech / Photo credit: Yomi Omogbeja