The minister of sports development, Senator John Owan Enoh, has called on stakeholders in the sporting industry to collaborate with the federal government in its resolve to rid the National Youth Games (NYG) of the age cheating practice
The minister made the call in Asaba, Delta State capital, during the opening of the 7th edition of the Games. He said age cheating in the game meant for the discovery and development of budding talents for the country at the grassroots has become a cankerworm which if not completely eliminated is capable of crippling government’s efforts at developing grassroots sports
“The issue of age cheating in sports is an area in which the Ministry requires the support and collaboration of all stakeholders. On our part, one of the innovations at this year’s edition of the Games is the introduction of the National Identity Number (NIN) as part of the verification process for athletes. Working with other stakeholders, we shall keep improving the process as we move along until we reduce to the barest minimum, the issue of age cheating in sports. We have to get this right as a nation if we hope to achieve sports excellence,” he said.
He however commended Delta State government for raising the bar in the organisation of the Games, he called on the state to move to the next level.
“I implore you to continue to improve as I have been briefed that the next 3 editions would also be staged here in Asaba, Delta State,” he added.
The games, according to him, was designed as a level-playing ground for young athletes under the aged 15 and below to achieve optimum performance and excellence in sports as well as raising the fitness consciousness and mass participation in sports among the Nigerian youth.
…We’re Addressing Accommodation Problem – Organisers
Organisers of the ongoing 7th National Youth Games (NYG) in Asaba, Delta State, have explained why athletes and officials are still facing inadequate accommodation challenges.
The games officially kicked-off at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba on Saturday. But officials said schools that were initially planned for it were no longer available following the resumption of academic session.
Addressing journalists, chairman of the media sub-committee for the games, Mr. Moses Etu, said new arrangements were in place for accommodation and that the problem was being addressed.
Etu hinted that the two weeks postponement of the National Sports Festival affected the earlier accommodation arrangement to hold the events during school vacation.
“Actually if you have been monitoring our preparations, you discover that we were ready, that was about two or three weeks ago, and that time, the children were on holiday and every arrangement regarding hostel accommodation were fully ready.
“But when schools resumed, we found it difficult like the Technical College, Dennis Osadebey University that had earlier given us their hostels, but they now resumed, and they had started their exams.
“What do we do, and we cannot close the schools just because we want to have the youth games. In fact, the children that are participating, it became a thug of war but we have resolved that now,” he lamented.
He said apart from providing accommodation for the athletes and officials from different states, new mattresses, and pillows with bed sheets were also given to them to make them comfortable.
Etu said adequate security had been put in place for the safety of the athletes and officials at games venues, hostels, and during their movements within and out the Stephen Keshi Stadium.