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Nasarawa state-born Judo heroine returns to Lafia

Posted : 23 December 2023

After concluding the National Senior Judo Classics with a silver medal, Grace Haruna of the Nasarawa State Judo Association received a warm welcome from the Management of the State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.

A brief ceremony to celebrate Haruna was held at the office of the Permanent Secretary, Chief Barr. Isaac Danladi, and was attended by members of the organization's management.

Haruna's Coach, Bashir Bassey, disclosed that the female judoka showcased her quintessential skills in the city of Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, fighting her way to the finals in the Women's 78kg category before gallantly bowing to her Ondo State counterpart, Adijat Azeez.

With over 100 athletes participating in the championship, which had representatives from 26 states, Grace, who sponsored herself, weathered the storm and defied logic to finish among the best performers, earning a Black Belt Degree Certificate.

Impressed by the determination and outstanding performance of the 2018 African Youth Games Silver medalist in Algiers, Algeria, the Permanent Secretary, Chief Barr. Isaac Danladi, praised her for bringing honor and glory to Nasarawa State despite doing it at her own expense.

He stated that individuals like Grace continue to bring honor and glory to Nasarawa State, emphasizing that the Governor Abdullahi Sule-led administration rewards hard work and excellence, regardless of who displays it.

"Let me appreciate and congratulate you, on behalf of the Honourable Commissioner and the entire staff of the Ministry, for this remarkable feat.

"It's never easy to self-develop and sponsor oneself to a tournament and come up with such a prestigious award.

"Your achievements may be personal to you, but you didn't go there on your own behalf; you went there to represent Nasarawa State, making you a worthy ambassador.

"Your effort won't be in vain. You have been representing the State and making everyone proud in previous competitions. This latest achievement isn't any different.

"You might not have received financial support from us to participate in the Championship, but I stand to be corrected; the Ministry wasn't informed about your intention to go for the championship.

"I would like to implore coaches and athletes to notify the Ministry on time once there is any event to enable us to provide the necessary support for your participation.

"We hope this feat of yours will further spur you to continue making the State proud in subsequent events.

"We thank your coach for guiding you through this level of achievement.

"We shall notify the Governor once he is back in the State about your milestone achievement, and we hope he will be ready to give you a more fitting reception."

Danladi later presented a cash sum to the athlete as part of the Ministry's morale booster.

Grace's performance at the National Senior Judo Classics, which began on December 13, 2023, and ended on the 17th of the same month, qualifies her for the final preparations for the All Africa Games in Ghana, scheduled for 2024.

The highlight of the reception was the presentation of the certificates garnered by the athlete from the Championship to the Permanent Secretary.



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