Inspired by her experience as a sportswriter who has seen the post-career struggles of athletes often caused by lack of formal education and concrete retirement plans, Yemi Olus-Galadima organised a one-day training for young female athletes in Kaduna South, Kaduna state. The Making of Champions Editor conducted a seminar on Saturday, 10 June 2023, as a part of her activities under the 2023 Report Women! Female Reporters Leadership Programme (FRLP) Champion building edition of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ). The seminar titled, ‘From the Track to the Newsroom: Building the next generation of female reporters’ was designed to expose young female athletes to career prospects in journalism.
The convener engaged Ruth Usoro, a Nigerian athlete who competes in the long and triple jump, as a resource person. Usoro, studying for her master’s in mass communication and media studies at Texas Tech University, runs an athletics blog. The member of Team Nigeria team to the 2020 Olympics provided insights into her life, challenges and success stories as an athlete, a part-time journalist and a student. The United States of America-based athlete listed the importance of education and retirement plans for athletes.
The convener used her experience as a sports journalist to inspire the 30 (28 females, two males) young athletes present and exposed them to available possibilities in journalism. With many of the athletes still in secondary school, the facilitator highlighted the value of education in enhancing their lives as athletes and emphasised the benefits of pursuing a course in mass communication.
The project created a mind shift for the participants based on the feedback received, and participants realised the importance of formal education. They also became aware of the advantages of pursuing a career in the media. Bill and Melinda Gates supported the training under the Report Women! Female Reporters Leadership Programme (FRLP) Champion building edition.