The Ministry of Youth and Sports is to provide lighting and equipment for para-table tennis athletes training at the National Stadium Surulere Lagos, ahead of the Rio Olympic Games.
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, gave the assurance when he visited the para- table tennis athletes currently camping at the Brai Ayonote Hostel at the National Stadium, Lagos.
One of the athletes, Faith Obiora, complained of poor lighting at the training venue, leaking roofs as well as inadequate equipment.
Dalung however promised the athletes that he will give immediate attention to the provision of equipment and lighting while the ministry will also fix the leaking roofs as soon as possible.
“We are training against time because the Olympics is fast approaching. Although we haven’t been able to do much due to paucity of funds, we will do those things that need urgent attention. I have already directed that equipment for training should be acquired and it is expected that they’ll be available soon,” observed the minister.
He charged the athletes to take their training programme seriously as the Olympics will be a battle ground for world champions.
“Having qualified, you need to train very well because you’re going to face other qualifiers. Do your best in training and aspire to dominate your opponents during the games”.
Super heavy weight boxer, Efe Ajagba, the only boxer to have qualified so far for the Olympics also proposed a training tour to enhance his skills. He complained of the poor state of the boxing ring and the floor of the gymnasium.
The minister however assured him and other athletes that the next stage of camping will be outside the country.
“Our camping will be in two phases. Since we’ve not been able to improve on our facilities, we will make use of what we have for the first stage which will soon be over before exposing you to the second phase which will be outside the country.
“I believe that the state of our facilities will be better before the next Olympics. Do not be discouraged because all your sacrifices are for the country. I wish you well and we will consider training tours that will be of comparative advantage to all athletes,” Dalung assured the athletes.
The minister had a fortnight ago visited athletes in camp during training at the Abuja National Stadium. They are para athletics, power-lifting , wrestling, weightlifting and athletics.