The President of the Gymnastics Federation of Nigeria (GFN), Adeyemi Foluso, on Friday said the federation would provide state-of-the-art facilities for the training of gymnasts this year. Foluso told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone in Lagos that providing the facilities would help talented gymnasts to attain international standards.
"We are blessed with abundant talents in gymnastics so, what we need to do is to provide an enabling environment for their training to sharpen their skills.
"Providing enabling environment means standard equipment for producing quality gymnasts, coaches as well as judges to meet international standards," he said.
The president also said there was need for elite athletes to participate in subsequent National Sports Festivals, noting that it would spur newly discovered talents to reach their peak in time. "The participation of elite athletes could be used as a yardstick to measure the performance of the upcoming ones and encourage them to put in more effort to be like them.
"I believe that if we make the National Sports Festival open to professional athletes, it will generate healthy competition and improve the standard of sports in the country," he said.
Foluso said that it was only through such competitions that developing sports at the grassroots could be boosted and the athletes gaining international recognition.
For Sodiq Momodu, the President of the Gymnastics Judges Association of Nigeria, it was only through the provision of facilities and sponsorship that the sport could develop. "Gymnastics is a delicate event that needs proper apparatus for maximum efficiency, therefore, it is expedient that these facilities are put in place to produce international champions.
"If the sport is to be developed in 2013, then it should start with providing facilities for training and sponsorship of its programmes," he said.