Nigeria’s sprint and long jump queen, Blessing Okagbare, has revealed that she was a tomboy while growing up. Speaking about her early days, Okagbare disclosed that she was discouraged from the sport due to hard tackles from opposing players as a result of her pace on the ball.
“I was a tomboy when I was younger and I used to play football on the streets with the guys. I later played for fun for my high school. I did enjoy playing the game, but I got scared. I was really fast when I had the ball but people would see me as a target and start kicking me. That was the moment I thought: ‘I’m not sure if I want to do this,’” Okagbare said in an interview with the International Association of Athletics Federations’ official website.
Interestingly, Blessing is not the only Nigerian female athlete that ventured into football as Atlanta Olympic gold medallist, Chioma Ajunwa represented the nation at the maiden FIFA Women’s World Cup in China in 1991.