Chika Chukwumerije

Programme: MSc Operations and Supply Chain Management
Nationality: Nigerian
Current role: CEO, Chika Chukwumerije Sports Foundation

University of Liverpool graduate and Olympic athlete, Chika Chukwumerije, established a sports foundation to introduce the sport of taekwondo to disadvantaged students, helping them to build their skills and confidence and develop a more positive outlook.

How did your time at University prepare you for your career?

My time at the University of Liverpool left me with an open mind and important skills that I have deployed to the work I do now. My mind became open to the endless opportunities available to make a difference in a field that is important to me.

During my studies my research skills drastically improved and I developed a strategic way of going about projects; words like value chain, waste management, and time management, all became real concepts to me that I now apply everyday within my professional career. There are fundamental concepts that my activities are now based on that emanated from my studies at the University of Liverpool. By the time my course was finished, I was all about trying to add value to whatever I was doing.

What has been your biggest career highlight?

As an athlete my main achievement was winning an Olympic Bronze medal in Beijing. As a sports administrator, it has been the development of strategic training programs for the National senior and junior teams to the 2014 Junior Olympic Qualification tournament, World Junior Taekwondo Championships, Commonwealth Taekwondo Championships and the 2015 All African Games. As the CEO of the Chika Chukwumerije Sports Foundation, since 2010 after I left the University of Liverpool, a total of 31 programs [international, national and local] including tournaments and workshops that have improved the quantity and quality of taekwondo practitioners in Nigeria, and have had participation from more than 9 countries in the West African region.

What did achieving the British Council 2016 Social Impact Award mean to you?

I was excited to have been a finalist and then elated to then win the award and to be encouraged to keep making an impact through my work. Even more importantly, I was happy for our University of Liverpool Alumni Network in Nigeria, who galvanized by the Faith Osiobe, have supported me with their votes and well wishes. To me, this reflects the growing and united strength of our alumni network in Nigeria.

What are your future plans and ambitions?

In the future I am keen to ensure that students passing through my Foundation achieve a university education whilst also winning international medals for the country, including World and Olympic medals. I also feel that it is important to improve their professional skills, such as their computer and management skills, to enhance their future employability prospects.

On a personal note, I plan to start PhD studies in a couple of years and start learning new language.