Olympic medalist and former African champion, Engr Chika Yagazie Chukwumerije, after years of dedication and purposeful impact in the Martial Art Sport Taekwondo, has decided to quit the sport in pursuit of his mechanical engineering career.
The former technical director of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF) who transformed from being an active athlete after 2012 LondonOlympics to a coach and sports administrator of high repute, told newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday that he intended to leave sport and move on to another career.
“There comes a time in life when you have to move on. I started taekwondo at the age of three and I come from a family of black belts. My dad was a black belter and I had seven siblings who were all black belters. My family had quite a lot of success because within the family five of us were national champions, three were university champions, two were African champions and I went to Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
“After these many years of being engaged in the sport, being passionate about the sport and investing in it, it is very important that I pause a bit and move on to another career. I have a degree in mechanical engineering and a master in Operations and Supply Chain Management, I was a first class student, best grading student, and in two years I will be forty. So, it is important that I also plan for my future to be stable financially and career wise. As much as I love my sporting family very much, it is also important to start this other career. I have a very good career in my professional course,” Chika declared.
The sudden move came a week after National Sports Federation elections held at the Package B of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in which Alhaji Saidu Abdullahi Baba emerged the new president of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF).
But Chika who has groomed from scratch many athletes through his foundation, Chika Chukwumerije Sports Foundation (CCSF), with most of the athletes on his payroll and educational scholarships in their final year at the University of Abuja, said he need to quit to secure his future as a young man.
“After eight years of being in the federation it has been very tough and I have not got any certificate in the last eight year and it is not good for me as a young man because I also need to upgrade my skills and personal development. That was the reason why I said after much investment in sports and shown the way, I need to leave for a while to secure my future as a young man.”