For Nigeria to not only make a big impact, but become a big actor in future Olympic Games, there is the need to make annual budgetary allocations for the discovery and training of athletes for that purpose.
Director of Grassroots Sports Development, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Dr. Ademola Are made the suggestion while reacting to the not too impressive performance of Team Nigeria at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
He explained that there was the need to make preparations for the next Olympics begins and not when it is another Olympic year.
“As I speak with you most of the advanced countries that dominate the Olympics are already preparing towards Tokyo 2020 Olympics. They were preparing ahead even while we were in Rio. In Nigeria, it is only in the year of the Olympics that we make budgetary allocations, which will not help us to prepare well,” he said.
Are said that it was unfortunate Nigeria was only able to win a medal at the Rio Olympics, stressing that to avoid a repeat of same in the future; we need to start preparing now.
“Preparing now means that even from the 2017 Budget, there should be appropriations for Japan 2020 Olympics, which will focus on athletes’ discovery, grooming and development,” he added.
Speaking further, he argued that the talents and experienced coaches to make Nigeria produce world class stars are available; stressing that what was missing is the proper planning through budgetary allocation.
LEADERSHIP Sport recall that Are was Zonal Coordinator of the North-West for the defunct National Sports Commission (NSC), where several athletes were discovered through constant sporting activities organized by his office on behalf of the Federal Government.