Nigeria: 19-Year-Old Lagos Athlete Reaps Reward of Excellence, Lands Scholarship in US University

At a time the Covid-19 pandemic is ravaging the world, affecting all facets of human endeavours including sporting activities, it is when luck smiled on 19-year-old Anita Taviore, an athlete in Lagos State, Nigeria. She was awarded a scholarship by an American university.

Timescape Magazine gathered that Taviore was awarded an education and sports scholarship by Boise State University, Idaho, United State of America, as an undergraduate student for Spring (January) 2021 semester, based on her outstanding record in athletics in the past few years.

Taviore left no one in doubt of her ambition to become a superstar in athletics when she was discovered during one of the school sports development programmes of the Lagos State Sports Commission. Right from the day her talent was discovered, Taviore has never let Lagos State down in proving her worth and prowess on the tracks.

Taviore, whose 19th birthday comes up on May 21, emerged overall best athlete at the “Heritage Bank Skoolimpics Meet”, 2016. She won the gold medal in 100m and 200m. She took the first position in 100m and the second position in 200m at the Asaba Meet in 2018 in Delta State. She also won 200m Heat 3 at the 2019 AFN All-Comers National Athletics Championship in Abuja.

At the continental level, Taviore won a gold medal in 200m and silver in 4x100m at the Under 18 African Junior Championship, Cote d'Ivoire, 2019.  This feat qualified her for the World Junior Athletics Championship, which was postponed indefinitely because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

She made her Personal Best Time (PB) of 11.66 seconds in 100m and 23.59 seconds in 200m at the Classic Meet, Ozoro, Delta State. She was invited for the, All African Games Trials, Abuja, where she came second. Aside from being the current Lagos State best sprinter in 100m and 200m, both in the senior and junior categories, Taviore is Africa's fourth-best in the 200m event.

When news of her scholarship award was revealed, the management of Lagos State Sports Commission gladly responded to the logistics needed to facilitate her travel to the United States. and within a noticeably short time, she was ready to travel.

Mr. Oluwatoyin Gafaar, Director-General, Lagos State Sports Commission, says Lagos State is proud to associate with Anita Taviore's career success (C) Twitter

The Director-General, Lagos State Sports Commission, Mr. Oluwatoyin Gafaar said that the state has been supporting its athletes to fulfil their potentials. He disclosed that Taviore was supported by the Lagos State Government through the Lagos State Sports Commission.

This young girl is our national 200m and 400m champion and a product of the Lagos State Government Schools Sports Development Programme,” the Director-General said while assuring that Lagos will continue to channel all resources in discovering, nurturing, and grooming its teeming young athletes so they become elite stars in their chosen careers.

We believe in our athletes combining education and sports, that is why we want to focus more on school sports development in 2021. The Lagos State Sports Commission will coordinate this with the Ministry of Education,” he said.

According to him, key areas of focus for 2021would be reintegrating sports back into the school curriculum, intervention programmes through international partnerships and the introduction of statewide youth engagement sports platforms through the inaugural Lagos Community Games. 

We also have our slate of statutory competitions and events such as the Lagos Marathon, Lagos International Classics, and competitions from our various sports associations. All these events are lined up to hold, Covid-19 permitting”.

Meanwhile, Taviore was full of hope of fulfilling her dreams in the United States. when she was leaving the shores of the country on January 3. She vowed not to let her parents, the Lagos State Government, her coaches and admirers down, as she looked forward to being a good ambassador of Nigeria at the Boise State University in Idaho, USA.