Ahead of the second edition of the National Youth Games scheduled to hold in Ilorin from September 22, 2016, the director of Grassroots Sports Development in the Federal Ministry of Youth & Sports Development, Dr. Ademola Are, has assured Nigerians that the games would be used as a preparatory ground for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
According to Are, Nigeria would be able to compete for medals in multiple sports at the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, in 2020, having learnt a load of lessons from the just concluded one in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where the nation could only make do with a bronze medal from male football.
Dr. Are, who represented the Minister Solomon Dalung in Kaduna, during the closing ceremony of the second edition of the Primary/Secondary Schools Volleyball Clinic – for children aged between five and 10 years – at the weekend, lamented the ‘unfortunate’ outing at the Olympics which saw the nation win just a medal.
Dr. Are fingered late preparations and lack of adequate and prompt release of funds as some of the reasons why the nation’s contingent to the Olympics performed poorly.
“We would not relent in our efforts at discovering talents from the grassroots. The National Youth Games which the University of Ilorin will be hosting from September 22 to 30 would serve as an opportunity of kick-starting our Tokyo 2020 Olympics preparation.
“We need to see how we can focus less on the sports we love, and develop our potentials in the multiple medals wining sports. Is it that we cannot swim?” he queried.
The clinic, sponsored by the chairman of the Beach Volleyball Commission of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Musa Nimrod, saw over 150 children participate in the clinic.