Daily Trust (Abuja)

28 December 2012

Nigeria: Athletics Federation Slates Trials for Feb 18

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) said it had fixed Feb. 18 2013 to Feb. 23, 2013 to test-run facilities ahead of the Africa Athletic Youth Championships coming up in the first quarter of the new year.

The federation plans to use the All Nigeria Secondary Schools' Championship to test-run readiness for the championships.

Commodore Omatseye Nesiama, AFN Technical Director, said in an interview in Lagos that a fitness test would also be conducted for officials and volunteers ahead of the championships. He said that the event would hold in Warri, Delta.

"We have fixed 18th to 23rd of February, next year to carry out a test-run of all the facilities, the technical officials and all those that will be involved, volunteers inclusive.

"To achieve that, I have planned to organise a technical officiating refresher course that same period between 18th and 23rd. The end of the refresher course will coincide with the competition to test-run the facilities.

"m It is after that time that we can beat our chest to say that we are fully ready or no, we still need to make one or two adjustments because we are going to test every aspect the competition itself, the officials, the equipment including the timing devices," he said.

He said the AFN would use the secondary school championships in Port Harcourt, in January, while some athletes from the 18th National Sports Festival would also be selected for the national team.

He said however, that the championships would be strictly for athletes between the ages of 16 and 17 years, pointing out that any athlete, who had clocked 18 years by December 2013, should not show up.

'It is open to youths of 16 and 17 years old, the youth must not exceed 17 years by December 2013. It means from 16 to 17 can compete, 18-year olds cannot.

"We are very serious about that and that is why we are taking our preparations in that light very seriously, also in terms of a kind of selection processes we are adopting.

"We are going to use the All Nigeria Secondary School Championships taking place in Port Harcourt, early next year as one of our selection platforms. And the other platform was the National Sports Festival; we were able to get the athletes that are within the age range."

Nesiama noted that delegates from the Africa Athletic Confederation (CAA) had inspected the facilities, and were satisfied to some extent.

NAN

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