VOX POP: Perspectives on the Pre-NiMSA Heat

The first NiMSA sports event in 6 years is set to hold during the upcoming NiMSA Convention. UIMSA will be sending representatives in all the sporting activities, and so to ensure inclusivity and representation of all classes in this team, the Chidinma Onyuidike-led Sports Committee is hosting a Pre-NiMSA Heat which will scout track and field athletes from all classes.

Our student association is filled with healthy but highly competitive spirits, and as a result, it’s important to capture the emotions through the event.

This was evidenced during a conversation with the a member of the Impeccabilem Sports Committee, Ayomide Ademola, who highlighted difficulties that they were facing but concluded by saying, “…we’re the 2k24 class, we’ll find a way”. The accommodation issue being faced by the 2k24 class is one that most of the classes can relate to. Ebenezer from the 2k25 (Mavericks) class lamented the situation, remarking that participation had been one-sided because the ladies do not have hostels yet.  

2k26 (Imperium) are not left out of this either, as the co-director of sports in the class, Loveth,  said, “… A good number of our representatives are not in Ibadan at the moment due to accommodation issues and won’t be in UI till the middle of next week.” However, other classes such as 2k27 and 2k21 are not as affected by this.

Female participation in sports has been an unyielding matter of concern in UIMSA. The immediate past Sports Director of the association, David Oluwadare, worked to fix this, and we saw an evident improvement in female participation in the previous tenure. During our conversation with members of the different classes, it has been revealed that there’s even more work to be done as most classes are recording a low indication of interest from the ladies.

The Mavericks (2k25) Sports Director explained that they have active sportswomen in the class, but added a caveat: “Maverick female team are eager to participate in pre-NiMSA, but they couldn’t help the situation. We have the female  team for all the track and field events. But at present, none of the participants are on campus because they haven’t been allocated to hostels.  I wish the program is a week shifted so that Maverick female team can showcase their skill.”

Although female participation is great in the 2k26 class and the ladies have shown interest, the Sports Director for the class, Bolu, mentioned that accommodation had also played a role in reducing the turnout of women in the 2k26 class. 

When asked about the turnout of the ladies in the newest class in UIMSA, 2k27, the Sports Director replied, “Low, I can’t lie, it’s very low.”

We won’t be wrong to expect a much better turnout of the Impeccabilem ladies because Ayomide’s response was much more positive. He said: “There’s been a decent amount of female participation, especially in the outdoor sports”.

This would have been the case for the sporty “Ọkà”, the 2k21 class, that homes the famous Esosa but they’ve not been able to actively prepare because they have been writing their third MB exams. In a conversation with Esosa, she noted, “I don’t think preparation has been as good as it would normally be because everyone has been focusing on their exams”.  She further went on to add, “I don’t think I’ll be participating in any event because I’ve not prepared”. It’ll be important to note that Esosa participated in more than 4 events during the previous Ulympics.

Still on preparation, Ebenezer Femi, the Sports Director of the 2k25 class (Mavericks) said “We finalized the preparation on Thursday June, 20, 2024”. 

Ayomi of the Impeccabilem class explains that preparation has been quite tough on their end. “It’s been quite tough navigating Clinical posting and keeping up with sports. Everyone has different schedules now (unlike Pre-clinicals), so organizing training sessions has been incredibly difficult. Teams like Volleyball, Track, Female football have been fairly active though.”

Loveth (2k26) also commented, “The preparations are fairly intense. The training is in place and everything is structured, but it’s just remaining the people.”

Jide, the Sports Director for 2k23 explained that academic commitments have hindered their preparation. In his own words: “You get the feeling that the demands of the impending Block 2 paper and MB is having its toll and dousing the excitement for the event for my class.”

There is a concern on sporting activities that most classes do not have a representative for. In a quick survey, through the Sports Directors, it’ll be safe to conclude that most classes do not have participants for the following categories: 1500 meters female, Javelin, Shotput, and long jump.

The 2K21 class is the only class that has witnessed the NiMSA games. T’ife from 2k27 affirmed his keen excitement for it and shared his hopes for his class to produce 5-7 representatives for UIMSA.

On representatives, Ayomi (2k24) said they hope to have a lot of representatives from their class. In his words, “A lottt of representatives. It’s a class graced with outstanding athletes.”

Ebenezer (2k25) is more humble and reserved in his prediction. He said “we’ll be able to produce at three, at the very least.”

Loveth (2K26), with confidence in her class’s skills replied, “I am confident that my class can produce at least a player (representative) in each category.”

The Pre-NiMSA Heat kicks off this morning with track and field events holding at Awo stadium, University of Ibadan. It’ll continue through the week with female and male football matches. The Sports Directors for all classes have spoken, it’s now time to watch the UIMSA Sports Committee scout for representatives. 

Afeezah Wojuade

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