By Goodluck Ikiebe
The Federal Government has expressed its determination to ensure the development of athletes discovered from the recently concluded 7th Edition of the National Youth Games held in Asaba, the Delta State Capital.
The Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, disclosed this on Tuesday in his office at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja during an interactive session with the Federal Directors of Sports.
He stated that nurturing the young talents discovered during the games to the elite stage was one of the primary objectives of government in establishing the Competition.
Senator Owan Enoh explained that the Games was designed not only to enhance and elevate Sports globally and regionally, but also to establish a standard for athletes’ succession from one generation to another and also enable for their participation in community development as well as reinvigorate national unity and collaboration amongst them.
He noted that strategic and deliberate efforts will soon be unfolded by the Ministry to drive the implementation of the programme.
The Minister assured that under his watch, the Ministry will ensure the grooming of these talents for a seamless transition to elite stage so as to enable for growth path of new champions that will represent the country both at local and international competitions.
Senator Owan Enoh stated that when young talents are discovered during national competitions, it becomes imperative that a timely and strategic arrangement must be immediately put in place to ensure their exposure to more coaching as well as facilities and infrastructure that will equip them for more podium appearances.
The Minister noted that if given the needed training and encouragement, Nigerian athletes are capable of being counted among one of the best globally because of their potentials in the field of Sports.
He stated further that these budding athletes should not be left to themselves but rather groomed into professionalism in their various fields of Sports.
“If we are able to show what we have been able to do with these discovered talents before the next National Youths Games, it will inspire confidence and buy-in by Nigerians and relevant stakeholders,” the Minister advised.
He therefore charged the Directors to bring their wealth of experience to bear in ensuring the realization of this policy objective.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary Overseeing the Ministries of Sports and Youth Development, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, assured that the Ministry will ensure the full implementation of the initiatives, policies and programmes of government, especially those that will drive the development of our athletes’ right from the grassroots.