*To acclimatise ahead of Games
Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, has disclosed that members of the Team Nigeria for the 2018 Commonwealth Games would soon leave for the pre-event off-shore training tour as part of their preparation.
Dalung told newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday that that some national sports federations had completed the first phase of camping of athletes and were set to move to Australia for the training tour.
“The Commonwealth Games is the focus for now. Some federations have completed the first phase of camping here locally.
“Other federations are still in the phase of holding competition for the selection of their final set of athletes for the second round of camping, which is the pre-event camping coming up in Australia,’’ he said.
The ministry had planned a three-phased camping programme for the federations. Most of the federations had started their first phase of camping in December.
Dalung said the tour would offer athletes the opportunity to get acclimatised with the weather and to also get used to the facilities they would be using for the competition.
He said the ministry’s budget for the Games had been approved and funds released since late 2017.
“We have got very good support from government as our budget for the Games was released late last year. So, we are on course.
“We also have very interesting developments happening ahead of the Games, as we now have two Nigerian gymnasts in diaspora who have now agreed to compete for Nigeria.
“We will be going to the Commonwealth Games with something strange. We are having Africans born abroad coming to identify with their country and this is a positive development,’’ the minister said.
The XXI Commonwealth Games is scheduled to hold in Gold Coast, Australia from 4th to 15th April, with Nigeria participating in nine sports.