7 December 2012

Nigeria: IAAF Instructor Urges NSC to Harness Festival Talents

An Instructor with the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) Rotimi Obajimi, yesterday appealed to the National Sports Commission (NSC) to develop talents identified from the Eko 2012Games.

Obajimi said in an interview in Lagos that there should be a mechanism in place to monitor the discovered athletes, in order to train them to stardom.

He said that the nurturing should be a continuous process, so as to ensure that the strengths and weaknesses of athletes were worked upon.

Obajimi also noted that preparation for the 2016 Olympics ought to have commenced now and that the country should be looking at those that would represent the country at the 2020 Olympic Games.

"In two years from now, we should be looking at those that will be representing us not in 2016, but in 2020.

"Identify them now and possibly confirm their status in another two years and start looking at pushing them gradually.

"Their test will be 2016 but with an eye for 2020, so that is the way we need to start thinking and having a continuous cycle of training, as a way spotting more talents and raising them to a particular level.

"Knowing what we need to be able to do and having timelines as to where we expect them to be able to mature into," he said.

Obajimi also commended the NSC and the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) for setting up a committee to monitor the potential athletes. "I think from what I have been able to see, AFN has been able to put together a working group to spot talents.

"I just hope that there will not be a duplication of effort. At least this is the first time in a long time that such a thing is happening and I am happy for it," he added. NAN

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