Lagos, March 8, 2019 (NAN) – A retired sports administrator, Elias Gora, on Thursday said that the near-absence of school sports had continued to hinder genuine grassroots sports development in Nigeria.
Gora, who was Nigeria’s Chef de Mission at the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria that the authorities should go beyond the usual platitude.
He said that the country’s grassroots sports development programmes were not vigorous enough to build world beaters.
« We benefited from school sports a lot but unfortunately we have neglected the school sports and the consequence is what we all can see.
« In athletics, unfortunately, there is a lip talk of catch-them-young grassroots development programme. I haven’t seen anything there in that direction.
« If that was the case and we were quite serious about it, we would have had young talented athletes replacing aging athletes.
« By now somebody would have replaced the aging athletes but we only have few new crops of young athletes coming up to do Nigeria proud, » he said.
Gora suggested that there must be a methodical order in place to push any practicable programme to completion.
« What we are actually doing is having individuals conducting competitions without training.
« They cannot embark on any serious training because first, they don’t have a coach. That’s the truth.
« You cannot have sports without coaches; these are the procedures and I have said it times without number but nobody is listening, » he said. (NAN)