National Sports Commission, NSC yesterday hosted and presented no fewer than 13 Nigerian Athletes heading to Samoa, venue of this year’s Commonwealth Youth Games.
The entire contingent comprising of coaches, team Secretaries and head of delegation are scheduled to depart Nigeria today (Saturday).
Out of 15 athletes who were penciled down to be part of Nigeria’s contingent, NSC Director General, Mallam Al Hassan Yakmut, dropped two.
Yakmut who spoke shortly after the presentation in Abuja told Nigerian Pilot Sports that the two exempted athletes who were previously positioned to represent Nigeria in Weightlifting fell short of the age limit recommended for the competition.
The Youth tournament, which is at its fifth edition, was originally designed for U-17 growing Athlete.
According to NSC DG, “The looks of the two dropped athletes clearly indicates that their level of maturity has overshot the age bracket required for this competition. If they are to represent the country in athletics, that will be understandable because it is meant for those who up to 19 years of age.
“If at this level we are investing in overage athletes, then our tomorrow won’t be bright. And I think the best thing to do is to call a spade by stopping such move of using overage because it won’t do us good as a country. We are converting those overage athletes to the senior category in order not to discourage them.
“We want to lay a succession plan and you can’t have a succession plan when you use athletes wrongly. What we want to achieve in Samoa is to a very solid base for sports development.
“If you don’t have the right age for high performance system, you won’t be able to harvest in the elite stage.”
Apparently a period for several sporting activities at both the continent and globe, the first batch of Nigeria’s representatives at the All Africa Games are equally billed to jet out of Nigeria to Congo on Monday.

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