*We want exchange, your coaching personnel – Gusau
Cuba’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Carlos Trejo Sosa, has promised Nigeria of his country’s readiness to support Nigerian athletics return to the height of thriving again.
The Ambassador was reacting to the courtesy visit of the leadership of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) that visited him in his official residence in Abuja led by the President, Hon Ibrahim Gusau.
The Ambassador who congratulated the new leadership of the sport thanked them for making efforts at the age long sporting relationship between his country and Nigeria. He pledged that Cuba will do everything within their reach to support Nigerian athletics.
He lamented the lull in the bilateral relations between both nations. Ours is not just a friendly but a brotherly relation. We are a part of the Africans in Diaspora. Cuba is committed to African development.
Though, the economic downturn also affected us in Cuba but back home we have re-energised efforts to take us back to the leadership of the world. We want to quickly return to the top 10 in the Olympics.
You have no reason not to be a leader in world athletics. You are exceptional people. We shall be happy to undertake the exchange programme with you. We want to strengthen our diplomatic relations with Nigeria with sports as one of our strongest tools.
In his own remark, Hon Ibrahim Gusau told his host, “we have concluded plans to set up six National Athletics Development programme, one each in every region. Two will start before the end of this year. These centres are targeted at taking athletics to primary and secondary schools.”
“For our existing elite athletes, we want to send a number of them to Cuba and also get some Cuban coaches to
come into Nigeria and work with our coaches. In all of these, we want to develop our coaching methodologies and coaches. Athletes and coaches being our biggest assets are our priority.”
“Even back at home, we want to increase the quality and value of our championships so as to be able to keep our athletes in great shape. We have a massive plan for middle and long distance too. We have tall dreams which we must pursue with focus and determination.”
Present at the visit include AFN Secretary General Amaechi Akawo, AFN Technical Director Sunday Adeleye, Board member Marcus Amanze, Chief Mary Onyali, Mrs Cordelia Anosike, Kayode Olumoko and Collins Duru.