By; SANI ALIYU, Zaria
National Chairman of Nigeria Taekwondo Referees Committee (NTRC), Eleri Winifred Ifeoma has urged government to introduce a policy to encourage private sector participation to boost taekwondo in Nigeria.
According to her, NTF was in Zaria, Kaduna State to select national team players who would represent Nigeria in global taekwondo completions in the next one year.
“We are appealing to government to create an enabling environment that will encourage private sector participation, because government cannot do it alone.
“But when you make a policy, whereby other individuals or private companies can come in to support, it will really go a long way in assisting the game.
“What these athletes need is just the exposure and the sky will be their limits. They have the talents to favourably compete with their counterparts from any nation,’’ Winifred-Ifeoma assured.
On officiating at the trials, the referees committee chairman said they had just finished a technical committee meeting where critical issues were raised.
She said it was disturbing that most of the time the way coaches interpreted the rules was different from the way the referees interpreted them.
“So, there is always a problem of interpretation and that’s why we took out time to deliberate and iron out those rules that actually create a vacuum or a problem in interpretation.
“Therefore, we expect a hitch-free tournament. But we will give the best out of us and I can assure you that officiating of taekwondo game is fair,’’ Winifred-Ifeoma said.
She appealed to participants at the trials and their coaches to abide by the rules of the game, while urging the officiating personnel to keep abreast with current rules.
The committee chairman suggested that in case of any complaint they should channel such to the appropriate authorities, assuring that it would be properly addressed.
Speaking on the essence of the national trials in Zaria, Winifred-Ifeoma said it was an open trials for all Nigerian athletes to be able to select national team players.
“This is an open trials for our athletes to get into the national team. We give equal opportunity to every athlete to participate, because we need to produce the best to represent the nation.
“After the selection, they are going into camp immediately. So, it is a free and fair opportunity for all. Officiating also has to be free and fair for us to produce the best,’’ she said.