By Chukwuemeka Abbah, Abuja
Director, Grassroots Sports Development, Dr. Ademola Are has hinted that the 2020 National Youth Games billed for Ilorin, Kwara State may still hold if the Federal Government gives the nod.
Are, in a chat stated that the yearly youth competition is meant to facilitate the discovery of budding talents in the country for further development and a platform for selection of athletes to represent the country at international youth games.
He, however, lamented that since the outbreak of Coronavirus, sports has been the worst hit with many competitions postponed or cancelled across the world. The National Sports Festival, a biannual competition has also suffered postponement due to the pandemic.
The Director further revealed that the modalities for hosting a competition of this magnitude have been released by the International Olympic committee, IOC, and the sports ministry is ready to follow it to the latter.
“We understand the dangers inherent in hosting a competition of this magnitude but we are not novice when it comes to organising competition of this nature,
“We have set machinery in motion that will keep all athletes safe during the competition and also ensure that all administrators and officials adhere to the rules and regulations before, during and after the game.”
“We must also ensure that all the necessary safety measures are in place in line with Ministry of Health and NCDC COVID-19 protocols as approved.
Are, also praised the minister of youth and sports, Sunday Dare for all the innovations he brought into sports with less than a year in office.
“He has been a blessing to sports, within few months in office he has come up with creative ideas that have helped the ministry.
“The COVID-19 palliative fund he was able to get from the private sector for Nigerian athletes even before the international body thinks of it.
“Adopt-a- athlete initiative that has received world wide commendations and so many programs for Nigerian youth.
“He is a man that knows his onions and he has been a blessing to the ministry and Nigeria at large.”
The national youth games was initially scheduled for 7th to 17th September, 2020 but due to covid 19 a new date will now be announced in line with covid 19 protocols for Youth sports festival.