*I’m thirsty for results of your plans
*Go back to the point of leadership of Nigerian sports
By Oluwole Francis
Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Barrister Solomon Dalung, told the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) “I am in a hurry to start seeing results of your activities. You are the largest sport in the country. You used to be the number one until you went on a slumber and now that you are awake, please make your impact felt in a big way.
Barrister Dalung spoke when he was briefed by the AFN Board led by its President, Hon Ibrahim Gusau, at the Conference Room of his office at the Federal Secretariat. Two of the firms consulting for the AFN made presentations of their activities to the minister.
In response, Barrister Dalung said “the way and manner you have done the critical analysis of the issues affecting the smooth management and delivery of the sport showed professionalism. My confidence in you is rich. You will be able to return to that stage where you were the highest controller of crowd in any sporting event. I see a glorious future in our athletics if you can start to deliver these tasks. I commend your vision,” the minister said.
Earlier, while presenting the consultants to make their presentations, Hon Gusau said, “it is the future of our existing and young talents that will determine the success story we shall return to our electorates to show as what we have achieved. We are firmly focused and determined to lift our sports to a point of pride to all the past and present members of our family.
Gusau revealed to the minister, “we are setting up six National Athletics Development centres. If plans work well, two will take off before this year runs out. We will situate the remaining four before the end of 2018. More coaches will be employed, more modern equipment would be made available for the proper and correct training of athletes from the very beginning. Our athletes will be able to build a great future by earning well and there will be more competitions in all categories.”
“For us to meet our aspirations for the development centres, we need about 248 coaches. So, whether we like or not, we must get more coaches trained and certified. Two, no discipline in the sport will not grow. Three, chairmen of Athletics Associations in the regions where those development centres are located will be the Directors while the board members from those zones will be the chairmen.
“The six chairmen will be joined by a few persons in the Youth Development Committee to be the drivers of our youth development progoramme. The new AFN has a business model. It’s a new organisation. Every cell will be working. As President, I am supposed to just provide leadership and direction as decided by the board. Every athlete will be jealously supported. For instance, we shall insure every athlete competing in our competitions from now. Their welfare is my greatest concern,” said the former House of Representatives member.
The two consulting firms made presentations of their activities to the minister who expressed satisfaction and challenged the team to speedily continue work.