In spite of National Sports Commission (NSC)'s decision to throw open subsequent editions of the National Sports Festival to all cadre of Nigerian athletes, the FCT administration has insisted it will stick to its policy of sending only locally groomed athletes to the competition. Director of sports, Alim Musa stated this exclusively chatting with LEADERSHIP sports yesterday in Abuja.
He said resorting to snapping up athletes that have been groomed over the years by other states just to win medals at the sports festival is counterproductive. "This is a wrong approach being adopted by other states. It is like cutting corners to success. Although they are getting the needed results now, the fruits of such results don't last.
"We will stick to our tradition of discovering fresh talents and grooming them for the festival. All the athletes that won medals for FCT at the 2012 Eko Games were athletes we discovered from our grassroots competition and we intend to continue with the process because is yielding positive results for us," he said.
He said Team FCT would have done better at the Eko Games were the results from the kickboxing event not cancelled by the officials of the games.
"We had five athletes who qualified for final in kickboxing in various categories before the events were finally cancelled due to poor officiating. If those events were allowed to go ahead we would have won more gold medals."
He said their reliance on talents discovered from the grassroots is a pointer to their commitment to give youths in FCT opportunity to excel. "We are giving youths' opportunity to fulfill their God-given sporting potentials. That is why in our programmes, we start from the ward level to the Area council and end it at the state level. "
Team FCT finished 12th on the overall medals table with seven gold, 12 silver and eight bronze at the 2012 National Sports Festival held in Lagos