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Abuja 2018: Anambra Blames Unimpressive Result On Inadequate Sports Facilities

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Tony Oli, the Chairman, Anambra Sports Development Commission, said the Team Anambra’s unimpressive performance at the 2018 National Sports Festival (NSF): ‘Abuja 2018’, was caused by inadequate training facilities in the state.

Oli said this on Thursday while speaking to journalists in Awka, the state capital, on the performance of the state’s contingent to the festival.

He said that in spite of the dilemma, the 2018 performance was their best in the last 20 years. He attributed the development to the level of motivation, determination and passion exhibited during the festival by the team.

He said that available records showed that before now, Anambra’s best outing at the NSF was at ‘Bauchi 2000’, where it won four gold, eight silver and 18 bronze to emerge 23rd.
“This was followed by ‘Ogun 2006’ with four gold, four silver and six bronze to place 23rd on the table,” the commission’s chairman said.

He further said that the state’s worst outing was at ‘EKO 2012’, where it finished 30th with three silver, two bronze and no gold.

Oli expressed joy that the team improved on their performances in the past 20 years with five gold, 11 silver and 13 bronze medals, to place 16th position on the overall medals table in Abuja.
He said: “That is the best we have had in the past 20 years, so it is a good starting point.
“It may not have met with our expectations because we were aiming higher.

“It could have been better but because Anambra have not been active in sports for a long time.”
“Sports infrastructure is quite poor, I may even say it is non-existent in the state but we had to train with what was available to us.

“If we wanted to wait until every facility was available then we are not going to do anything
“For instance, in Table Tennis, we had to go to Nnewi Sports Club. We used a secondary school to train our combat sports athletes who gave us three gold medals.

There is deficiency of facilities but we didn’t want it to hinder our activities.
“It was beyond sports, passion and determination drove us,” Oli said.

He said beyond training athletes and building facilities, the commission would also support Anambra officials to get into the administration of the games at the national level.
He thanked Gov. Willie Obiano for creating the commission and approving its programmes, promising that sports would soon come alive fully in the state.

He said that a number of athletes were discovered at the NSF and gave an assurance that the commission would support them to attain greater height in their chosen sports.
He said, “We have learnt our lessons but the assurance is that we are going to commence preparation for Edo 2020 as soon as possible.

“We are going to build on the experience we have gathered,” Oli said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the three mini stadia in Anambra, including Godwin Achebe stadium and Chuba Ikpeazu both in Onitsha and Awka Township Stadium are at various stages of dilapidation. (NAN)

 

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