Joseph Oladele, the National coach of Nigeria Para-Swimming Federation (NSFN) on Saturday in Abuja said the Federation will create awareness of Para-Swimming in the country as one of the alternatives to people living with disabilities.
Oladele who spoke to www.gongnews.net at the maiden edition of the National Para-Swimming Open championship organised by the Federation to mark the International Day for Disability.
According to Oladele, he said the championship would help the Federation to discover new talents to represent the country in any international competition in the nearest future.
“We do not have time to propagate the game and this is the only opportunity we have since the existence of the Federation in 2011. This competition will help to recruit new talents that will represent us at international level. After this championship, we will call the best athletes for three to four months camp,” he said.
The Federation is planning to participate in two international events in 2017. There are two international championships coming up in Australia and the United States early 2017. We are not attending these championships to win but give our athletes the appropriate exposure. We pray that God will grant us favour concerning financial issues.
He added, “we are also planning to organise another national championship in another state, we will spread the awareness of the game in the country. Funding has been the major problem of the Federation which has delayed us in organising any competition since the existence of the Federation.”
He identified another challenge facing the federation as transportation of athletes because they are disabled persons. It is not easy to transport athletes whenever we organise any event like this, the second major problem is inadequate swimming pools. The swimming pool we have at the national stadium is not properly maintained. It will require a lot of money to maintain it,” he said.