The West Africa University Games (WAUG) was organised by ECOWAS in University of Port Harcourt where only three countries participated: Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone, with 37 Schools in attendance including University of Ibadan. The competition held between November 1, 2018 to November 12, 2018. He won gold in high jump of height 2.05m and bronze in long jump of 7.01m. This got Tell! to have a chat with Oyedele Cyprian, multiaward winner in Sports and former Sports Minister of Faculty of Agriculture and forestry.
Tell us more about you
I am Oyedele, Cyprian Adeolu, a 500L student of Agricultural Economics Department, faculty of agriculture, University of Ibadan. My first primary school was Azane modern primary school, Ibillo in Edo state, and then I continued my primary education with my auntie in Ondo state at St. Gregory primary school Ikare Akoko. I reside in the great Nnamdi Azikiwe hall. My activities are basically Sports, most especially, football and athletics, but I major in the high jump. I come from a family of seven including my Dad and Mom. I am the third born of five, comprising of four boys, a girl. Actually, my Dad is a good Sportsman, probably that’s why we all like sports including my younger sister.
So, since when did you start your sport career?
Since I was a kid: From backyard jumping, till I entered primary school. I won my first Laurel in high jump in primary three (3), later on in J.S.S 2, and then in S.S.S 1-3 in F.G.C. Ibillo. I won a bronze medal for my school in high jump in the National Federal Unity School games in Calabar, 2012. In my 100L in the prestigious University of Ibadan, I won a silver for the great Nnamdi Azikiwe Hall in the Inter Hall Competition, where the peak of my life in sports began with my mummy, my coach, my advocate and my sister.
She sent me to so many competitions with her money and when she doesn’t have, she would borrow all to make sure I become an achiever. Even when the University Sports Council were not there, she was there. She made me win a bronze medal in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games trials held in Nigeria, and also won the silver medal in the IAAF trials in 2017.
I became a national figure to the glory of God through her, when she single handedly raised money to send me for the world junior trials where I won with a height of 2.05m but was not taken by my country for the championship. To the glory of God earlier this year, I represented NIGERIA in the ECOWAS games where I got the gold medal for my fatherland. And just last month, representing University of Ibadan for the first time, I got her a gold medal.
You were the Sports minister for your faculty in 2016/17 session, how did you make sure sports was well grounded through your prowess?
Well, I had so many plans for the faculty but fund was the constraint. I tried meeting some national figures like Segun Odegbami but it went down the drain. I didn’t really get support from my fellow Executive because they were only after their offices, and money meant for sports was never given to sport and unfortunately that year, it was inter hall and not inter faculty competition. I single handedly paid for the medals distributed in the Deans cup because I was not given what should have been given me and I thank God it was a success.
During the period of your participation, how was attending classes like?
It was not easy. My grade dropped a bit and currently I am praying I finish with my 2.1. In fact, currently, my supervisor is angry at me. In the department, if you ask any lecturer taking 500L students about me, he would say “is it that boy that jumps up and down?” – including Prof. Okoruwa. In my class I am always the topic of jest when my supervisor is around.
What is your take about Schooling and personal development?
Well, my academics is paramount, but who never can tell this little extra curricular activities can be your saving grace later in life. Before job, the way you have developed yourself might even earn you a better leaving but still academic first before others.
Tell us about your last award?
It was a narrow escape winning the West African University Games. I scaled through because of determination. There was so much pressure from Sport Council, I was afraid, I was devastated, but it was a success. It became worse when the day of my event was drawing closer, and our school has not gotten any gold medal, everyone started telling me, “cyprian you are our hope, you are our only hope of a gold medal”, so it was frightening but I thank God it was a light at the end of the tunnel. It became clearer that I was their hope, but it was all because I won the ecowas games, if not such pressure won’t have been there.
Just to close the chapter for the day, I will always put this forward that when I needed support from the Sports Council to go for World University Games, they said they have no money and that if my coach or parents can raise the money then I can go, but there’s one thing I will still continue to do and that is crediting them for allowing me use the school facility.
What are your hopes for the future?
I pray and want to be a world class jumper. And I pray to break the world record even if it is going to be a great task.
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