Chess master, Tunde Onakoya, is Ogun State’s sports ambassador

Photo caption: Tunde Onakoya (left) in a handshake with Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun.

The Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has appointed Tunde Onakoya as the State’s Sports Ambassador.
This honour followed Onakoya’s recent record-breaking chess marathon at Times Square, New York.
During the meeting where he received the National Chess Master on Thursday, Governor Abiodun expressed his admiration for Onakoya’s accomplishments on the global stage.
“This could not have been possible without determination, resilience, and hard work,” he remarked.
The governor lauded Onakoya’s role as a motivational figure. “I can see why you continue to be an inspiration to many young people across the length and breadth of this country,” Governor Abiodun said.
He highlighted Onakoya’s initiative, Chess in Slums Africa, as a transformative effort aimed at uplifting underprivileged children by sharing his own story of overcoming adversity.
Further emphasising the impact of this new appointment, Governor Abiodun revealed plans for the Ogun State Chess Competition in honour of Onakoya.
“In your honour, and because you are now officially our Sports Ambassador and our Chess Ambassador, we will begin an Ogun State Chess Competition across the length and breadth of the state,” he announced. The competition aims to discover new talents from local to state levels and will feature the Tunde Onakoya Prize for the winner.
Governor Abiodun also reflected on the broader implications of Onakoya’s journey, noting, “His achievements in the face of difficulties are a testimony that life does not recognize where one comes from, place of birth, or parent’s status in society.”
In his response, Onakoya expressed profound gratitude for the support from Nigerians and the Ogun State Government. “I am proud to be a Nigerian and from Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State,” he shared, recounting his journey from poverty to prominence through chess. He discussed his ongoing efforts to popularize chess in Lagos, Kenya, and beyond, in collaboration with partners like Lufthansa Airlines.
Onakoya also shared his motivation for breaking the world record in chess playing, surpassing the previous 56 hours by reaching 60 hours.
He thanked Governor Abiodun for recognising his efforts and vowed to continue promoting chess as a tool for youth empowerment.

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