Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: 'Developing Sports at Grassroots Key to Success '

The Cross River State Commissioner for Sports, Mr. Patrick Ugbe, has said that for the country to regain its lost glory in sports, it should develop the sector at the grassroots.

Ugbe stated this yesterday in an interview on the performance of his state at the just-concluded 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos.

He said that performances at the Games, tagged "Eko 2012", should spur states to develop sports at the grassroots.

On whether Team Cross River met its projections before the festival started, Ugbe said the state's objective at the Games was to do well. (NAN)

"Definitely if we really want to do well in sports if we want to get back the lost glory, we need to go back to the grassroots that's where you will discover the talents.

"That's where you begin to groom them to become the world stars and the ones that will take the name of Nigeria to the highest level; you cannot do that by poaching.

"But if we don't have a programme that is meant to groom them then you obviously cannot succeed.

"When I was asked of our prospects before the festival, I said we plan to do well at the festival.

"They said number of medals, I said I don't do such projections; I only say that we will do well.

Cross River finished eighth on the medals table with 12 gold, 14 silver and 23 bronze medals as against its 15th position at the 17th edition of the festival in Port Harcourt in 2011.

Cross River will be hosting the 19th edition of the festival, tagged "Paradise Games" in 2014 in Calabar. NAN

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