#BounceExclusive: How Asisat Oshoala Is Grooming Future Football Stars In Lagos
The journey into stardom starts with a step and for some lucky girls across selected schools in Lagos state, they have embarked on this step with Super Falcons star, Asisat Oshoala.
Oshoala finished as the best striker in the Chinese Women League in the season gone by, but she is doing much more in Lagos with young girls ambitious enough to rule the world like she is doing.
With her foundation and the help of the Lagos state government, the former Liverpool and Arsenal star is out on the twin mission of helping young girls maximize their sporting potentials and not allow their educational pursuit to suffer in any way.
“It is my way of giving back to the society that made me; growing up I never really liked football initially, I was more of the book type but at some point, I was given the opportunity to use my talent and I did that gracefully,” Oshoala recalled while speaking with Bounce Sports.
Indeed, this has been a memorable week for the reigning African women footballer of the year as she organised the Asisat Oshoala/Lagos State Secondary Schools Girls Football Clinic with facilitating support from the State Government and the First Lady of Lagos State, Her Excellency, Mrs Bolanle Ambode.
Oshoala who plies her trade with Chinese side, Dalian Quanjian FC in the Chinese Women’s League was in Epe and Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively to take the students on the rudiments of football alongside a Birmingham football Scout, Ali Al Roz.
The Agege stadium now christened Soccer Temple, as well as the Campos Square in Lagos Island were also in the mix as young ladies were accorded the chance to chart a course for themselves.
One of them is Kehinde Sofola of the Epe Grammar school who told Bounce Sports that her passive interest in football has been awoken by the chance meeting with Oshoala.
“I really like her, and I am happy with what she told us that we can be super stars like her too if we work hard and stay focused, I believe one day I will also play for a big team abroad” Sofola posited as she stayed to catch her breath after one of the rigorous sessions with the trainers on hand.
Sofola's dream and that of the other girls on this learning curve could become a reality earlier than they imagine as Oshoala revealed that scouts from top clubs across the country and representatives from the national u-17 the Flamingoes are on ground to identify and pick budding talents.
On their part, the Lagos State Government has given reasons why the state has been supporting Oshoala and her pet project, the Asisat Oshoala Foundation.
Deji Tinubu, Special Adviser on Sports to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said that the government recognises how the reigning African women footballer of the year developed her career from the grassroots and rose to the stardom,
He added that for Oshoala to come out with a foundation to help the girl child in Lagos shows that she is a lady of substance who means well for the society that made her.
He added that her feats in the last couple of years are something worth celebrating.
"His Excellency, Governor Akinwumi Ambode recognises the contribution Asisat has made to football in the country and Africa as a whole. More importantly that she an indigene of Lagos also gives us a joy to want to support her and her pet project Asisat Oshoala Foundation.
"We see Asisat as a mentor and role model for a girl child in Lagos. Looking at her humility and the way she rose to the top, if she can be a role model for these girls it would go a long way in shaping their present and the future. Since the clinic began on Monday, she has been mentoring these girls, speaking with them about the need to take their education seriously. These we believe would definitely shape their life.
"She has been mentoring the girls and sharing her life experiences and what it took to get to the top. She also spoke about the need to take their education serious, become responsible and disciplined and prepare for the challenges of life," Tinubu said.
For Oshoala, books and boots may be more important than the wigs and other accessories for the girl child in Lagos and beyond.
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