Edet urges government, companies to invest in youths through sports

FORMER Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) head coach, Amelia Edet, has reiterated the need for Nigeria to invest in the youth, sport wise.

  “….There is no substitute for talent hunt. There is a limit to the recycling of athletes. It is about age and performance and sooner or later, if you don’t invest in the youth, failure catches up with you…..” she said.

  In Lagos, Amelia was reacting to an invitation to be part of a coaching crew that will fine tune the over 500 students that will be involved in the grand finale of the 14th AKS/NNPC/MPN Schools Athletics Championships that will be held in Uyo on February 6 and 7.

  Part of the same exercise in Calabar last year, the seasoned coach and holder of the IAAF Veteran Pin for “ long and meritorious service to the cause of athletics worldwide” said what happened in Calabar last year was an eye opener and proof that talent abound in this country.

  “Courtesy NNPC and MPN we took about 160 students to Calabar last year and after about two weeks of intensive coaching, there was no doubt that world beaters abound in this country.

   “ I had pleaded with the Consultant of the programme, Mr. Paul Bassey, to ensure that we have more of such. I have been told that this year will not be as intensive as last year, but it gladdens me that as many as 500 athletes will be given an opportunity to be exposed to the best of conditions in track and field” she said.

 Amelia, who was honoured by the International Athletics Federation (IAAF) during  her 47th Congress in Berlin for her commitment and service to Track and Field, will want more companies and individuals to be involved in grass roots sports sponsorship.

 “That Mobil has been faithful to this event for 14 years speaks volume. Unfortunately it is concentrated in one state. You can imagine the dividends we will reap if we had five, six, seven Mobils spread across the vast expanse of this country?

   “What I am saying of athletics applies to other sports. We must start to concentrate on the discovery of talents at grass roots level. Schools sports, inter house sports should be revived, games masters should be trained and this will be best achieved when sports and education ministries even at National level come together to forge a common front.”

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