Soccer is the principal sport in Nigeria by far and it’s the tool that transcends religious, political, or ideological differences. The Nigerian national team has had a rich tradition of success on the world scene but has faltered lately due to weak youth programs, an essential fact for the development of soccer.
“Soccer is vital for Nigeria because it brings people together, improving our society,” explains Paul Kato, responsible of Kato International Training Academy and Rush Nigeria. Kato adds: “soccer is the language that transcends religious, political, or ideological differences”.
Nigeria Rush is working since 2009 to provide opportunities for their children. “The objective is to develop world class players despite the poor infrastructure,” confesses Paul Kato. Rush Nigeria is fighting with illusion and talent against the corruption and inadequate infrastructure that holds back the full potential of the Nigerian Soccer.
However, there is always room for soccer and education, the main objective of Rush Soccer and Kato International Training Academy. Its immediate goal is to develop a resource center where their players can use to read books, connect to internet and further their education while giving them a solid soccer experience. Sustainability and agriculture are top objective as well. “The midterm goal is to establish a residential academy where students will get their education, learn soccer fundamentals, and contribute positively to their communities. Finally, the long term goal is to develop Nigeria's future leaders that value integrity, good governance, and develop a free and fair society,” says Kato.
To accomplish these ambitious goals are needed money to develop the infrastructure, gear and soccer material to equip the players, and knowledge and experience to improve and grow the Rush Nigeria Academy. Some of the Nigerian players are attending Spring Arbor University and playing in the soccer team. Kato closely know their talent and affirms: “we have players capable of playing at the highest level, with a number of them easily fitting into the college level”.