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Monday, 18 September 2017

We agreed to her use of her maiden name -Professor Seun Omotayo (Husband of Olympic Gold Medalist)


Olympic gold medalist Chief Falilat Ogunkoya is a track and field athlete known around the world. Repeatedly, she has brought pride to her country Nigeria where at different times, she has won gold, silver or bronze medals for the country.

She settled down to marriage many years ago and into the loving arms of Professor Seun Omotayo who having deep love and regards for her achievement and personality, urged her to continue bearing her maiden name where necessary, despite the marriage.

When asked why they sometimes use separate names, Professor Omotayo simply replied, “I do not want her to lose her track identity, hence, we agreed to Falilat Ogunkoya-Omotayo (MON).

He tells us more in this interview with Paul Ukpabio, how he has been coping with his wife’s popularity, the passion they share in sports, and his usual travels across the globe.  
Tell us about yourself, who is Professor Seun Omotayo?
I am a Member of the Governing Council at Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. I am also currently the Vice-President (Continental) Africa Sports Management Association with Headquarters in Kenyatta University, Nairobi Kenya.

I was the Consultant Sports Psychologist attached to the Flying Eagles of Nigeria during the 1989 FIFA Junior World Cup in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during which time Nigeria played in the finals of the competition for the first time. He was a recipient of the Special Recognition Award of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1987 for successfully rendering psychological services to the Nigerian Contingent that represented Nigeria at the All-African Games held in Nairobi, Kenya.

Sir, your wife has been a frontline sports personality in the country with easily recognised name in public. How do you cope with your wife being popular with what she does?
I am always happy about my wife’s popularity on what she does because the popularity is positive. I have never been involved in any damage control at any time since we got married, so nothing negatively critical to contend with or manage.

So, how did you meet your wife, was it love at first sight?
Definitely not love at first sight as it was a long drawn affair that spanned some years.

What attracted you to her?
It was her complexion I must say that attracted me to her, and her radiation of confidence among her peers as an athlete.

Would you say you have the same personality like your wife?
The answer is yes and no because on a typical personality assessment scale, we both exhibit significant similarities and differences too.

What do you like about your wife? 
 Like I mentioned earlier, I like her confidence and above all she knows what I like to eat.

What can you say about your marriage now?
Our marriage is a continuous work in progress. 

What has been the success bedrock of your marriage?
I believe that would be the effective management of our individual differences.

Are you equally as fashionable and sports loving, as your wife? Who would you say is more fashionable among both of you?
No, I am not fashionable but I am sports loving. My wife is definitely more fashionable. She knows the latest in wears but I am rather on the conservative side.

Do you have pet names for one another? 
She calls me Baba and I call her ‘Fali’ or ‘Iya’ depending on the issue. If these are pet names, then it must suffice as an answer you have your answer.

So what do you do these days? 
I am a Chief Consultant with Two-in-One Concept: Education & Sports Consultants. I am therefore into full time Education and Sports Consultancy. This enables me and my team travel across the U.K and the Coast of West Africa often. We deliver education and sports related Training Workshops and write feasibility reports on educational and sports institutions for clients.

How about Chieftaincy titles, have you taken any, if no, why not?
Yes, I have Chieftaincy titles. As a member of my Age Group in Ijebuland, I am the Balogun Egbe Bobagunte Okunrin Asiwaju of Ijebuland. I am also the Akewela of Ilodo Kingdom.

What do you love about your wife?
 Her Somatotype! That is, her human body shape and physique type: Though it goes beyond this.

Your education background?
I am attended the University of Ibadan where he studied Physical and Health Education (1980-1983). He obtained the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) degree in 1990 with specialization in Sports Psychology from the same University. He was appointed a Sports Coach at the University of Ibadan Sports Council in 1986 during which time the University emerged the overall winners of the NUGA games. He joined the Department of Sports Sciences and Health Education of the Olabisi Onabanjo University in 1987.  In the year 2002, he was appointed a Professor in the Dept of Exercise and Sports Technology, Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya.

Your wife has sports laurels, I am sure you too have something to flaunt
(Laughs) Well if you say so, I was the first Nigerian to win the International Council for Health, Physical Education, Recreation Sports & Dance (ICHPER.SD) Outstanding Sports Leadership Award in 2005 at the Anniversary World Congress in Istanbul Turkey. I was National President of the Sports Psychology Association of Nigeria (SPAN) between 1988 and 2004 and served as a member ICHPER.SD Sports Psychology Commission, the Co-ordinator of African Sports Research Network and Member of the Ministerial Strategic Implementation Committee on Nigeria 10yrs Elite Athletes Development Program.

And I also serve the Economic Commission Of West Africa States (ECOWAS) as a Resource Person on the development and implementation of the ECOWAS Regional Sports Policy Document that was adopted by ECOWAS Conference of Youth & Sports Ministers in Dakar, Senegal in May, 2010.

Someone like you must enjoy writing, do you have published works?
Yes I do. I have published extensively in local and international Journals and attended several local and International Conferences including Sports Psychology professional Management Sessions in the Commonwealth Region. I serve as the Consulting Editor of the Africa Journal of Health, Physical Education and Sports. I’ve been the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Multi-Disciplinary Studies and Sports Research (IJMSRE), and currently the Coordinator of the Africa Sports Research Network (ASRN). I am also a visiting Professor at the Dept. of Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Sport (HPERS), University of Education, Winneba, Ghana, and University of the West of Scotland, Paisely, U.K.

What kind of things appeal to you?
I love cerebral and issue based discussions. I also love good music, culture and tradition based activities particularly, the popular Ojude Oba festival when all Ijebus home and in diaspora converge to pay homage to the Kabiyesi Oba (Dr) Sikiru Kayode Adetona CFR, Ogbagba II, the Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland. I’m usually at home in socials and gathering of friends in relaxed atmosphere as we usually do at Ijebu-Ode Club particularly in ‘Bar Two, Gongo So Corner and Heinekens Jams all’ at Ijebu-Ode Club. Women who maintain their completion and natural beauty appeal to me too. Most appealing however, are sporting activities with special preference for track & field Athletics and Football. 

Where did you grow up?
 I grew up at Abadina a community inside the University of Ibadan Campus.

What was growing up like?
 Growing in Abadina was fun but under the watchful eyes of my Mum a strict disciplinarian.

Who influenced you most?
 My Parents influenced me most.

What can you recall about your early days?
 I remember rolling bicycle wheels in the street and doing table- tennis betting. I also recall my love for eating fried over ripe plantain and beans.
Will it be right to say that sports joined you and your wife together? If it is not sports, then what role has sports played in your marital life?
Sports reinforced all other considerations.

Your early education?
My Primary school education was at Abadina Primary School, University of Ibadan.
My Secondary School was at C.A.C Grammar School, Ibadan, while my Higher School was at Federal School of Arts and Science, Ogoja, Cross River State. University education for first, second and third degrees was at University of Ibadan.

Any sports that you physically engage in?
I trained for Physical Education at Ibadan, so i milled through different sports. I virtually know something about every sports and almost everything about a few sports. For me it is Soccer and Track & Field mainly. I should add that I was a very poor swimmer.

Any other hobbies?
My hobbies are travelling and aerobic dancing. But travelling in Nigeria has become very dangerous due to the conditions of the roads now. This has affected my penchant for this hobby of mine.






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