Funding may deny Bolaji Paralympics dream


By Johnny Edward.

Nigeria’s top ranked Para-Badminton player in the SL3 category, Eniola Bolaji, risks missing out on valuable ranking points that could dent her chances of competing at the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games next year, The PUNCH reports.

The Paralympic Games hold from August 28 to September 8 in Paris.

Bolaji, who stunned the world in 2021 when she became the first African to win gold in the SL3 category at the Spanish Para-Badminton International Championships, needs to take part at the forthcoming Africa Para-Badminton Championships in Kampala, Uganda to improve on her ranking and gather more points for qualification.

The 18-year-old is currently ranked No.1 in Africa and 42nd globally with 100 points in her category and is hoping to feature at the championship in Kampala to stand a chance of living her dream.

“Since my triumph in Spain in 2021, I have not featured in any overseas tournament because there is nobody to sponsor me,” Bolaji told The PUNCH.

“I have tried all my best but to no avail. I have only been taking part in inter-state tournaments to keep my shape intact.

“There’s another tournament in Uganda come July and a win there for me will secure qualification for the 2024 Paralympics in Paris because of my current ranking and points.”

Should Bolaji feature at the tournament and attain the needed points, she will be able to inspire other para-athletes and help raise Nigeria’s flag just like the other athletes in the country.