Improve annual budgetary allocation would help Nigeria dominates Olympics – Are

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By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON.
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 impressive performance of Team Nigeria at the Rio 2016 Olympics on phone on Wednesday.
He explained that there was the need to make preparations for Olympics begin, once one ends, not just waiting till an Olympics 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 the years that Olympics are held that we make budgetary allocations, which will not help us to prepare well,” he said.
The Director said that it was unfortunate we were 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.
It would be recalled that when Dr. Are was Zonal Coordinator of the North-West for the defunct National Sports Commission (NSC), several athletes were discovered through constant sporting activities organized by his office on behalf of the Federal Government.

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