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NYG: Bola Magaji faults screening method

*Create a public databank of athletes

Former national team player and coach of Squash Racket, Bola Magaji has taken a swipe at the method adopted for screening athletes for the on-going National Youth Games (NYG) holding in Ilorin.

MAgaji is peeved that some states are still falsifying ages of athletes to take undue advantage to win at all cost.

The prime mover in squash and ex-international in the sport, Mallam Bola Magaji, while analysing the aims and objectives of the multi-sports event introduced in 2013 to discover young talents from the grassroots said that the screening process was not fair enough.

‘The objective was to give the youths the opportunity to showcase their talents, but unfortunately, some states are not honest and again, the method adopted for screening the athletes for the Games was not fair enough’, he said.

‘If we can get the actual ages, it would have been better, but some people are still cheating. The only way we can eliminate or reduce this cheating is to create a data bank for the young athletes, as at the time of their first participation, and also monitor the process so that they maintain such data from then on.

While discussing on the standard of squash in the on-going Games, Magaji said that coaches are not doing enough in developing young players just like in Kwara state, which has virtually produced champions in all youth categories, starting from six years of age.

‘If you want to compare the standard with that of Kwara state, I think other states are far behind. I will want to charge other states to work harder on developmental programmes’, he added.

He said that the future of squash in Nigeria is both bright and bleak, because even though there are talented players, discovering the talents alone cannot do, but can be complemented by the investment efforts of both the government and the private sector.

Magaji added that Nigeria’s participation and triumph in the just concluded championship in Zimbabwe was championed by private individuals.

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