*We shall further reduce the age of participants
Chairman Organising Committee of 3rd National Youth Games (NYG), Dr. Ademola Are, has disclosed that the greatest challenge the organising committee is facing is the age cheat syndrome and that the Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung has worked out a strategy to nip it in the bud.
According to him, the next edition of National Youth Games will not be U-17 but U-15 and that will reduce the act of age cheat to the nearest minimum.
“One of the greatest challenge we are facing is the age cheat syndrome and this has been addressed by Minister of Youth and sports Barrister Solomon Dalung in his speech at the opening ceremony of this tournament.”
He told www.gongnews.net “From next edition, the Director of Grassroots, Ministry of Youth and Sports continues, it is going to be U-15 and it will be clear to everyone that this tournament is meant for young boys and girls. The ‘U-17 tag’ allowed some states to bring in boys and girls who are above 20 years and by mere looking at them you can screen them out but they will defend them with age declaration or international passport. So all these will be eradicated in the subsequent editions.”
Former national team Squash Racket player and coach, Bola Magaji too had complained bitterly about the conducts of states cheating with over aged athletes and thus, destroying the very objectives of using the National Youth Games to discover young, new talents in the nation across various sports disciplines.
Even Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN)’s Technical Director, Sunday Adeleye, had to remove almost 24 athletes that passed through the initial screening for being overaged. The menace of age cheating has become so prominent and it cuts across the sports disciplines.