Rising Star Spotlight: Adijat Gbadamosi & Her Journey So Far
Adijat Adeyemo Gbadamosi is a name that has come to stay. In a country where football has proven to be the chief sports, new athletes are giving Nigerians a good reason to pay attention to other sporting activities, and Adijat is no doubt going to contribute her own quota. The 2018 Youth Olympic Games female flyweight silver medalist has had an impressive journey and spoke to our correspondent about it.
A native of Badagry, Lagos, Dija, as she’s fondly called by her peers, started boxing at age ten, right in her hometown. She was attracted to boxing after seeing street boxers train around her community and asked permission from her parents to join the street boxers. Beyond a granted request, her parents gifted her, her first boxing gloves and shoes; a true gesture of support. In the years that have followed, Mr. Jimoh and Mrs. Taiye Gbadamosi, have given adequate support to their child’s development in boxing, and have been there to celebrate her exploits.
Adijat holds a 50 win and 2 loss amateur record, with the final loss to Italian Martina La Piana at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, being the second loss of her career. The first one came at the Governor’s belt final of 2016, after she had won gold at the AFBC youth games earlier in the year.
Dija is a southpaw. She trains with coach Tajudeen Kazeem of Always Boxing Club, Bariga; a small town in Lagos, Nigeria. She acknowledges the role Coach Tajudeen has played in the growth of her fighting skills, even citing the loss at the YOG final to not being able to communicate with her coach before the bout as he wasn’t part of the Nigerian contingent to the games.
When our correspondent spoke to her, Always Boxing Club was in camp preparing for the National Sports Festival which ran from the 6th to 16th of December, 2018. She participated in the light-flyweight category at the sports festival for Team Lagos.
The major challenge she has faced since taking up a career in boxing, has been lack of adequate training facilities due to low funding. She says coach Tajudeen is the only one catering for all the boxers in camp. Despite this, she has set her eyes on achieving her five year goal, which includes – seeking a scholarship to universities in Mexico and the USA to improve her fighting. She also sees herself representing Nigeria at the senior Olympic games in Tokyo 2020, after which she will go professional. With a role model like pound for pound legend Manny Pacquaio, she is sure not relenting on any front, and we wish her all the best.