The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, has expressed optimism that new talents will emerge from the National Youth Games taking place in Ilorin, Kwara state to replace ageing athletes.
Speaking at the Ilorin International Airport on his way to Abuja on Tuesday ahead of the opening ceremony of the NYG billed for University of Ilorin, the Minister said with the presence of over 4,000 athletes from 33 states at the fifth edition of the National Youth Games (NYG), the country will soon witness the emergence of young budding talents to take it to glory among comity of sporting nations.
According to the Minister, “33 states are on ground with over 4,000 young, budding talents and athletes, the efforts would pay off eventually. In the next few days this country will witness the emergence of young talents, which when harnessed, will do the nation proud in the nearest future.”
When asked if the states that failed to turn up for this edition would be sanctioned, he said on the contrary, they would be persuaded to participate in subsequent editions.
“For states not here, I intend to visit their governors and persuade them to feature in subsequent editions,” he said.
On what is expected from him and his team, he said expectations are very high. “Nigeria is a sports loving nation, and though sports development in this country has had challenges, especially funding, there is hope for a brighter future,” he said.
On how he intends to end age cheats and doping in sports in the country, he assured that scientific measures are being explored. “We will create awareness campaign against age cheats and doping. Age cheating and doping create problems for sports but we will use international best practices to address the challenges.”