27 Apr 2017

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO A GREAT SQUASH PHILANTHROPIST - "Captain Adedayo Chukwuma AWOBOKUN"


PERSONALITY OF THE MONTH AND GREAT SQUASH PHILANTHROPIST OF OUR TIME - CAPTAIN ADEDAYO CHUKWUMA AWOBOKUN
When you talk about the improvement of Squash in Nigeria most especially among the young and senior squash players in the country’s commercial hub, Lagos, you definitely cannot erase the footprints of one of the greatest squash philanthropist of our time, Captain Adedayo Chukuma Awobokun. He is a huge, fair skinned squash addict who always marks his presence at tournaments by attending in his work wears . . . he always prefers to witness the games live instead of being fed with the results. Here is a little about him:

Name: ADEDAYO CHUKWUMA AWOBOKUN
Profession:  Pilot (ExxonMobil Corporation). Formerly Airline Captain at Bristol Helicopters
Place and State of Origin: Ogere, Ogun State
Family: 1 wife, biological children and so many adopted children.
Schools Attended: International School Ibadan, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria.
Religion: Christian
Affiliations: Ikoyi Club (Old/Senior Member), Lagos State Sports Council Squash Rackets Association (Technical Director), Professional Squash Players Association of Nigeria (Grand Patron),
Events Sponsored: AWOBOC Monthly Squash League (2013),

WORDS FROM PLAYERS AND FRIENDS

Kunle Adebiyi: Capt. Dayo as we call him, is one of the few genuine lover of grassroots  sponsorship and support for squash in Nigeria.  In the 27 years that I have known him, he has supported a lot of squash players starting with Niyi Oyewumi who in the 90s was always flying to competitions courtesy of Capt. Dayo while all of us catch the night luxurious buses.
He is the father of many squash players and with his love and affection, these young squash players can afford to go to school and also play squash without worries. As he celebrates his 60th birthday and retirement, I wish him all the best in life with good health and abundant blessings. As you continue to look after other people’s children, may your own children find favor in high places. Happy Birthday Sir!

 
Idowu Enimakure: Capt. Dayo is a philanthropist, very well mannered and he loves the game of squash than anything else. He also has plans to improve the game of squash in Nigeria. While I was with him years back he told me he never really faced hard challenges in life, his life has been smooth as he planned it. He said he got to pilot school at his tender age after that he became a pilot; he never faced admission, job, or uneasy hardship in life. He is a man of protocol. He is the second major sponsor of squash leagues and PSPAN Open in Nigeria. Happy Birthday Sir!

Yemisi Olatunji: A Yoruba adage says "opo oro oka agbon".  Since I have known Captain Dayo, he’s been a father to me and all the rest of the squash players, both home and abroad. He has been very supportive to my career both home and abroad (in recent times). I pray that the good Lord will continue to keep him alive to witness the improvement he so much desires in Nigeria’s squash players moving high among the world’s best squash players. Sir, you will live to see Nigerian squash players rule the world of squash like the Egyptians are doing right now. Amen!
Happy birthday Captain ADEDAYO CHUKWUMA AWOBOKUN aka Smiling Assassin.

Babatunde Ajagbe: Captain Dayo is a man of great reputation and an awesome philanthropist. He has helped several people in many areas and in different sports for many decades.
I met him some years ago before I started playing for Lagos State and he was the main person that made me play for Lagos state. Since then, he has contributed immensely towards my professionally career. Till now, he is still the only person who encourages and supports the development of junior squash players in Nigeria. More power to your elbows. Happy Birthday Sir

Sodiq Taiwo:  He's just looking for improvement of squash in Nigeria. He always supports anyone that takes his or her squash serious.  Happy Birthday Sir!
 
Wale Amao (USA): Captain Dayo encouraged and supported (and still does) a lot of us in squash, education and other aspects of life. Personally he contributed a lot to my squash, when my game seems to be bad he always dig deep to know what exactly my problem is and makes sure it's sorted out, he adopted me and he took care of me, he's a father and a great squash enthusiasts, we need more people like him in the society, I love him so much. If I start mentioning what he has done it will be too much. Happy Birthday Sir!
 
Seun Peters: He has also been the person buying kits for Lagos players (over 48players) for the past 6 years. He spends an average of NGN 900,000 every year on such.
He also gives players transport fare from junior to the most senior and we the coaches year in year out for over six years till date - this also runs to over millions of naira every year. Happy Birthday Sir!

Emmanuel Oyeniyi Oyewunmi: I first met Captain Adedayo Awobokun in 1990 at Eagle Club, Surulere. I was about leaving the club around 9.30pm when the tall figure of Capt. Dayo approached me if I could give him a game, at that instance the answer would have been ‘no sir’ but his next statement was ‘I will drop you’, I didn't want to say no anyway.

But I never knew then that God Almighty never comes down to earth to visit you He sends Angels to direct helpers of Destiny to you. At the end of the game he dropped me and that was it. My next meeting with Captain was about 6months after I was to travel to Maiduguri by road (about 12 hours to Kano and another 6 hours to Maiduguri). A member at Eagle Club asked me if I will be at the club the next day which I replied no am traveling back to Maiduguri. The next question made me laugh… ‘which airline?’ my answer was ‘motor line’, everyone laughed. I was told to come the next day that Capt. Dayo goes to Maiduguri. The rest is history. I never knew the gentleman I played some months back was a pilot with Gas Airline. For the next 4 years (1990 -1994), I never traveled by road. Capt. Dayo so blessed me that he introduced me to all station managers in Kano, Kaduna, Lagos and Maiduguri as his brother. Several times I traveled from Maiduguri to Lagos just to see my parents and traveled back to Maiduguri same day.

I was about the most equipped Squash player in the country, all thanks to Captain Dayo. I never lacked financially also. Whenever myself and my friends were broke, the moment Captain comes to Eagle club my fellow friends will say ‘Baba Lee’, my nickname, your ‘Iginle’ is around (your benefactor is around). He never said NO to me. When I was about to leave the country for UK in 1994, Captain Dayo gave me half my ticket fare and 2 weeks after I left Nigeria, he came to London from USA. He also gave me $400 again. What Captain Dayo started with me in 1990 till today he is still doing for so many Squash players especially Lagos State players.

What more can I wish the man that left open the doors of his house for me to visit even when he’s not around, the man that made sure I am always up to date with my Squash equipment, the man that was a blessing to those associated with me, the man that was to travel to the USA four days before my wedding but changed booking and left for the Airport after the reception.  All I wish for this man, my brother, my uncle, a father figure to not just me but to everyone associated with squash is that … On clocking 60 years, May the Almighty grant you peace and joy. May all your children be blessed by the most High God. You shall know no sorrow. Amen! With lots of love Sir!

Ademola Daini: Capt. Dayo is an extraordinary man with a passionate heart who believes in doing extraordinary things. He believes in contributing to the success of every squash player that comes his way. For the past few years that I have known him, he has contributed a lot towards the success of a lot of squash coaches and players in Lagos State and Nigeria. Most of the Lagos State squash players today that are in Diaspora and even in PSA would not have been there if not for this extraordinary man. In fact, if you ask him how many squash rackets, canvas, strings etc he has given out to players, I'm very sure he cannot recollect because they are so many. Please join me in celebrating this generous, passionate and extraordinary man at 60.
I wish you long life and more grease to your elbow. Amen! Happy Birthday Sir!

Olaoluwa Ajayi: Capt. Dayo is a man of few words but more of action his love for squash is undying, he encourages both young and old players either financially or morally.  A great man indeed who's vision is to see squash being played like football in Nigeria, he has gone through many challenges to speak to parents to allow their kids play squash especially female players and currently sponsoring young squash players through high school. Any time I sit with him he impacts knowledge on me. More days ahead sir wish u all the best in life. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you on squash development. Thanks again for your usual support.

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