THE President of Obijackson Foundation, Dr Ernest Obiejesi, said on Saturday that his foundation was working assiduously to develop traditional wrestling in Okija, Ihiala Local Council Area of Anambra.
Obiejesi made the remark during the traditional wrestling festival – Mgba Okija- sponsored by his foundation as part of efforts to revive the sport at Okija.
According to him, the love for traditional wrestling faded with the advent of western sports.
“This Mgba Okija which we started sponsoring this year is aimed at reviving the sport as a way of bringing back the aspect of our traditional culture and the game of our fore-fathers.
“The gesture was put together to promote the Igbo culture and norms; unity, love and peace among the people and also to put Okija on the world map.
“We are trying to bring that culture back and give youths the opportunity to be able to express themselves and we assure that the wrestling festival would be an annual event’’, he said.
Reports state that 15 wrestlers from Ubahu Abu Ubahu, Uhuobo Na Uhuowelle and Ihite Abu Ihite took part in the event.
Mr Sunday Opia, the Technical Director of the Nigeria Traditional Sports Federation, said lack of sponsors was a major challenge facing development of traditional wrestling in the country.
According to him, traditional wrestling has been part of the people but lack of sponsors make it difficult to discover wrestlers who could win gold at the Olympics.
While commending Obiejesi for organising the festival, he assured that the federation would continue to partner with the Obijackson Foundation in future festivals to scout talents.