By Goodness Ekpang
The Nigeria Weightlifting Federation, “(NWF) President, Dr Ibrahim Abdul, has felicitated with Coach Ajei after his meritorious service to his state, Delta and Nigeria at large.
Coach Emeka who is a household name in the weightlifting family as well as Delta State sports retired from active civil service from Delta State Sports Commission where he worked as Weightlifting head coach, on May 29, 2023.
In a press release he personally signed, the NWF President eulogized Coach Emeka’s personality, humility, dedication to work and great services to Nigeria and Weightlifting.
“Coach Emeka is someone I have known for years and I am not surprised that he retired from the Civil Service with his head held high.
“He is a coach who is totally committed to his duties, forthright and unassuming. It is not a mean record to serve your father’s land for 35 years without blemish.
“He is a Coach who has won several medals in international and national competitions and we are proud of him.
“On behalf of the board of Nigeria Weightlifting Federation, I want to wish him a hearty retirement congratulations.
“He is going to start a new life after service and I know that God will lead him to succeed.
“Coach Emeka Ajei’s retirement which came after a successful 35 years of service to the country with unblemish record, is worthy of note,” he said in a press statement on Thursday
Coach Emeka Ajei retired from service at the age of 60 years.
He first started his coaching career in Lagos State as an assistant coach. He left the state to Sokoto State in 1988 where he was the head coach in weightlifting in the Sports Council and in 1989 won 6 gold medals for the state at the 1st NNPC Weightlifting Championship
He left the state and joined the Benue State as Chief Coach under the Sports Council. He won 3 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze medals for the state in the Imo 1998 National Sports Festival.
He spent 17 years in the Food Basket of the Nation and rose to Level 13 in the Civil Service organigram before he joined the Delta State Sports Commission in 2017.
As Head Coach of weightlifting in the state, the sport witnessed a great milage with returns in medals at national competitions.
At the 2018 Sports Festival in Abuja, he won 14 gold medals; won 22 gold medals in Edo 2022 and 21 gold medals in Asaba 2022 all in weightlifting for Delta State
He lead Delta State to win the overall champions in weightlifting event at the 2022 National Sports Festival, NSF in Asaba
At international arena, Coach Emeka was among the technical crew of Nigeria Weightlifting contingent to the Kenya 2021 Weightlifting Championship where they won 12 gold medals in the competition which also served as Tokyo 2020 Olympics qualifier.
With his retirement from active Civil Service on May 29, 2023, Coach Emeka Ajei has not only distinguished himself in his capacity but will continue to be an icon, an asset and a beckon of hope to Nigeria Weightlifters.