By Goodluck Ikiebe
As part of preparations towards ensuring podium finishes by Nigerian Athletes in international competitions, the Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, has declared a two day Ministerial Retreat on Athletes’ Performance at 2024 Olympics and African Games open to address issues of poor performance.
Declaring the event open at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Thursday, the Minister stated that the retreat was to address some of the issues responsible for the poor performance of Nigerian Athletes during international competitions.
He stated that as a nation, it is imperative to move with the trend of events in line with international best practices, especially considering the fact that contemporary sports have assumed global status.
Senator Owan Enoh informed that the retreat will also provide participants with the opportunity to examine the strategies that could be adopted in terms of training plans, code of conduct for Athletes and Officials, Anti-Doping Education and the Roles and Responsibilities of the National Sports Federations towards podium performance at the 2024 Africa Games in Accra, Ghana as well as the Olympic/Paralympic Games in Paris, France.
“This makes the retreat auspicious. Sports achievements are used as a barometer to evaluate effective and meaningful governance at all levels.
The Federal Ministry of Sports Development through this retreat will address some of the factors that are responsible for the poor performance of Nigerian athletes at international Sports competitions”, he stated.
The Minister further stated that the Ministry will use the retreat to address performance-hindering issues such as lack of identifiable process to improve performance of athletes, lack of professionalism from Sports administrators, athletes and athletes support personnel, funding and late release of funds, athletes’ preparation (in terms of good training programmes), anti-doping education and lack of scientific approach to training programmes.
He assured that the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration was fully committed to creating an enabling environment to ensure the Development of Sports in the country in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the government.
While commending the resource persons, who have been working assiduously behind the scene towards Nigeria’s preparation and participation for podium success, the Minister expressed optimism that the team has the capability of making the retreat successful
Senator Owan Enoh added that the team of resource persons will henceforth function as the Ministerial Podium Performance monitoring team. It will monitor the preparations of federation athletes for the 2024 Africa Games and Olympic/Paralympic Games in Accra, Ghana and Paris, France respectively, concluding that all monitoring activities are to be reported to his office on a regular basis.
In his opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary overseeing the Ministries of Sports and Youth Development, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar called on participants to make use of the opportunity provided in ensuring that critical issues affecting Nigerian Athletes towards podium finishes during international competitions are not only identified but also addressed accordingly.
Represented by the Director Planning Research and Statistics, Mr Akin Adesina, the Permanent Secretary assured that the Ministry will continue to ensure full implementation of the policies, initiatives, and programmes of the Federal Government in line with its mandate.
Our Correspondent reports that the two day retreat to address issues of poor performance ends today, Friday.