28 December 2012

Nigeria: AFN Fixes February 18 for African Youth Athletics Trials

The Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has fixed between February 18 and February 23, 2013 for selection trials ahead of the Africa Athletic Youth Championships holding in Warri, Delta next year.

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

AFN Technical Director, Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama, told NAN in Lagos yesterday that a fitness test would also be conducted for officials and volunteers ahead of the championships.

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

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

"It is after that time that we can beat our chest to say that we are fully ready or not, 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," observed the AFN technical director.

Nesiama said the AFN will select some of Nigeria's representatives from the Secondary Schools Championships in Port Harcourt in January while some to some have already been pencilled from the 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos.

He warned, however, that the championships would be strictly for athletes between the ages of 16 years and 17 years, saying any athlete, who had clocked 18 years by December 2012, would not be given the chance to compete.

"It is open to youths of 16 and 17 years old. The youth must not exceed 17 years by December 2013. It means those between 16 years and 17 years are eligible to compete, 18 years old cannot.

"And 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," concluded the newly promoted naval commodore.

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