KHADIJAH SULEMAN

 

Khadijah Suleman takes a vision and makes it reality through sound strategy development, a unique blend of business savviness and unparalleled experience in the sports industry. Respected as an inspirational leader, credible voice and creative innovator, Khadijah has worked for the Oakland Raiders, International Management Group, UC Berkeley Sports properties, Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Chargers

 

Khadijah holds an M.A in Sports and Entertainment Management from the University of San Francisco. Along with a bachelor’s in Journalism from The University of Mississippi journalism. During her time as a student-athlete, she was a 7-time All- American and 4-time Academic All- American. She led her team to the NCAA finals for the first time in school history, sat on the board for the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) where she helped generate a student-athlete voice and promoted a positive student-athlete image within the NCAA structure. In her final year of college, Khadijah was nominated for the annual NCAA woman of the year award in honor and recognition of her service and leadership, academic achievement, and athletic excellence. Post-collegiately, Khadijah finished as a 2016 Nigerian Olympic Trials Finalist. 

 

Khadijah fell in love with nonprofits when she was only a teenager due to her desire to inspire and positively impact the youth around the world. She founded Gear ‘Em Up to raise funds directed towards helping highly talented underprivileged athletes combing education and sport.

MARVELLOUS IHEUKWUMERE

 

Marvellous Iheukwumere is a Nigerian-American woman, passionate about using her talents to empower youth around the world. She is currently a second-year student at Harvard Law School where she serves as the President of the African Law Association and provides opportunities for students to travel and work on pressing legal and human rights issues across African countries. She is also a member of the Harvard Defenders where she serves as a student-attorney representing low-income individuals at criminal show-cause hearings. Marvellous also works with the Harvard Immigration Project to assist detained immigrants with bond hearings and asylum applications. Outside of her legal advocacy, Marvellous contributes to planning cultural events and The Africa Summit Trip through the Harvard Black Law Students Association. 

 

Before law school, Marvellous worked for the National Basketball Association (NBA) for three years, where she helped manage the league's compliance and legal affairs across 13 international offices. She also competed internationally as a professional track and field athlete, most recently finishing as a 2016 Nigerian Olympic Trials Finalist. Marvellous graduated from Columbia University in 2014, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. At Columbia, she was an Ivy League conference record holder, 8-time conference champion, and 2-time Division I Academic All-American in Track and Field. She is also the current school record-holder in the 100 meter dash and led Columbia to its first and only conference championship in 2012. 

 

Through her athletic experiences, Marvellous has recognized the impact of sports, and has worked with national and global organizations to create initiatives to educate and enrich the lives of young athletes through sports. She currently sits on the boards of the Columbia College Women's Alumni Association and DreamWakers, an education nonprofit organization. Marvellous is excited to contribute her passion for servitude, leadership experience, and dedication towards ensuring that Gear 'Em Up fulfills its mission to provide adequate apparel and educational resources to help rising athletes in developing countries to reach their full potential.

HAMMED SULEMAN

Hammed Suleman is a graduate from the University of California Berkeley with a master’s degree in Cultural Studies of Sport in Education. Along with bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare of African American studies. His compassionate nature and desire to give back to his community and mutual love for sports, Suleman joined Gear ‘Em Up to serve and encourage athletes to be the best version of themselves.

 

As a Division One athlete at Berkeley, Suleman dominated both indoor and outdoor NCAA Track and Field events. He was the no.1 triple-jumper in the U.S, 4-time conference champion and 5-time Track and Field All-American while serving as the team captain. Suleman received multiple scholastic awards while at Cal. During his professional career, he participated in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth games where he represented his home country, Nigeria.

 

Despite his tremendous athletic ability and talent, Suleman is a true champion who remains humble and is committed to empowering young athletes in and out of the classroom. Suleman is well aware of the importance of supporting and giving opportunities to vulnerable, underprivileged athletes because he recalls that he didn’t make it to the pinnacle of his athletic career without the abetment from his family, coaches and colleagues. Suleman believes “Athletic participation develops and enhances the body and mind by way of physical and cerebral determination.” Suleman is a role model to youth in the U.S, overseas and is excited to apply his knowledge and skills to support Gear ‘Em Up and our vision of empowerment through athletics.

Olivia Ekpone is a graduate from Texas A&M in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree. While being on the track team, she studied communications and journalism. In 2014, she was named the Outdoor Southeastern Conference Runner of the Year after breaking the SEC 200m record (22.23) and then led her team to the NCAA title. Post collegiately, she ran professionally for the United States and Nigeria. 

 

She now is a contributor with FloTrack to pursue her dream of being a sports analyst/sideline reporter. She interviewed athletes and coaches at major championships, analyzed sprinting mechanics, and has done live commentary. When she’s not on camera, you can find her volunteering at elementary schools in Austin, TX. Olivia partners with Marathon Kids and Athletes for Hope, to ensure children in her community have a role model to look up to. She enjoys sharing her experiences as a professional athlete and shares the benefits of staying active, even at a young age! 

 

Ever since Olivia was a little girl, she had always been interested and passionate about sports. Sports taught her the meaning of teamwork and patience, while being a respectable leader. Olivia had the privilege of traveling across the world to compete. One of the places she traveled to gave her a humbling experience. This country was Nigeria. 

 

After her trip to Nigeria, she was touched by the children that she met. “I noticed some children were training barefoot, while others were wearing blue jeans. Some areas of the track that we visited had dips and air pockets underneath the surface. I can only imagine how talented these children can be if they had the hard working attitudes and the appropriate apparel and equipment to compete and train in. I would like to make a difference in these children’s lives by supporting them in their dreams to be the best athletes they can be. Gear Em Up is the perfect organization to achieve to do that.”

 
 
 

MUBARAK HARUNA 

Mubarak Osiremiza Haruna is an international student athlete from Nigeria. He is a computer

science major and captain of the Merritt College men’s soccer team. Osiremiza’s desire to be a ‘hero in his community’ has seen him actively engaging in multiple non-profit organizations. He is the founder of a soccer club named SWG Football Club in Lagos, Nigeria which is aimed at developing the soccer skills of young talented boys and girls. He is also the Director of Media & Publicity at Inspire Youth Initiative, a non-profit organization based in Nigeria that is geared towards tackling the problems of Nigerian society and unlocking the hidden potentials of the next generation of African leaders.

 

Mubarak is a multiple award-winning soccer and track athlete. Receiving numerous athletic awards and represented White Sands Secondary School in local and state competitions. He was also the captain of the athletics team and led the team in inter-school competitions where he won medals for his high school. Being voted as the sportsman of the year for three consecutive years and also voted as White Sands Most Valuable football player from 2010-2014. In November 2017, he was awarded the Male Sports Personality of the year at the Nigerian Teen Choice Awards as the most outstanding male athlete for that year and for his contributions to sport in Nigeria.

 

During his soccer career, Haruna has trialed with Nigeria U-17 National soccer team and the Los Angeles Galaxy. In the future, he plans to build the very first sport university in Nigeria to give athletes the opportunity to chase their athletic dreams while pursuing a world class education. Above all, Mubarak’s ultimate dream is to use his knowledge and talents to help people, especially the less privileged and give them hope for a better life. He wants to be a role model to others and make a positive difference in the world.