The minister of youth and sports development, Sunday Dare, has emphasized that Nigerian athletes need the support of the private sector and rich individuals to be among the best in the world.
According to him, the performances of Team Nigeria’s athletes at the just concluded Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were enough testimony to the fact that there are potential champions in the country across various sports.
Dare insisted that since many of the athletes were young, the future is bright for Team Nigeria at continental and global games to be among the best.
“There is much to hope for in the future. In Tokyo, most of our athletes were young and debutants – first time Olympians. They gave their all. If only we can support them in a sustained manner, they will give us future Olympic medals and raise the flag of Nigeria at all venues of international sports competition.
“We have started building a new generation of young Nigerian athletes who will benefit immensely from the Nigerian Sports Industry Policy which will be placed before the Federal Executive Council for approval shortly.
“This policy will unleash the economic potential of our sports sector following President Buhari’s reclassification of sports as a business, away from recreation. This will be the foundation for sustained sector growth and maximization of our human resources.
“The Tokyo 2020 Olympics experience will move and challenge me to push our sports to a higher level and seek a better condition for all our athletes.”
He maintained that the sports federations elections coming up later in the year would be the beginning of the preparation for the next Olympic Games.