Minister for Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi
The National Sports Commission (NSC) has mapped out plans to commence preparation for the next Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil immediately after the forthcoming National Sports Festival (Eko 2012) holding in Lagos between November 29 and December 9.
A statement from the Office of The Media and Publicity Committee of the MOC 18th National Sports Festival, said that The National Sports Commission will select experts to monitor and scout for promising and outstanding athletes during the sports festival who would be recruited to form the nucleus of a new Team Nigeria.
Eko 2012, the statement says, is expected to provide exceptional athletes who would be groomed on a periodic basis every year from 2013 till the next Olympics.
These athletes would form the core of the country’s contingent to future international sporting competitions holding from next year.
These competitions are, among include; The All African Games and The Commonwealth Games.
Already, the Chairman of National Sports Commission and Minister for Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, is reported to have directed that henceforth only athletes who have shown enough will and zeal to compete Nigerian colours will be given consideration in the formation of a new look Team Nigeria.
The minister has also directed that the various sporting associations must henceforth; endeavour to take part in all national and international competitions available.
“This situation is expected to keep our teams highly competitive and make them gain experience which was largely lacking in our build up to the last Olympic Games in London,” the minister was quoted to have said in his report on London 2012 to the Federal Executive Council.
Similarly, Abdullah has also directed that the various sporting zones created by the National Sports Commission to be empowered to scout and develop talents in their various zones.
He wants particular attention to be given to such sports as taekwondo, judo, wrestling, weightlifting and athletics.