John Mikel Obi, a former captain of Nigeria’s Super Eagles and midfielder, has started a talent hunt programme, Back2Base with a view to discovering the next football stars in the country.
Obi, a former Chelsea midfielder, said he is keen to create a pathway for the youths to succeed through sports, using his global connections to help talented young Nigerians, not just in football, but also in basketball and tennis.
Obi started out as an academy player in Jos, Plateau State and rose to the highest level, leading Nigeria to both the World Cup and Olympic Games.
The 35-year-old who is one of only three Nigerians to have won the prestigious UEFA Champions League trophy is ready to use his new Back2Base programme to uplift hundreds of other young talented Nigerians
Obi, who was fondly referred to as The Catalyst is also willing to put to use his global connections to help the talented young Nigerians not just in football but also in basketball and tennis.
The maiden Back2Base programme is scheduled for the University of Lagos, Sports Centre, Yaba from June 9 to 11.
“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them. Someone created an opportunity for me and it’s been a dream of mine to do the same for young, talented Nigerian athletes,” Mikel said.
“I would like to announce the first edition of my Back2Base programme, which will give aspiring professional athletes the opportunity to showcase their talents in sports like football, basketball and tennis.”
He added, “A monetary price will be awarded to the most promising athletes across the three sports. They will also be hosted to an exclusive dinner with me where a mentorship session will be held.