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Ekiti FA counsels players, officials on proper dieting

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Participants in an online lecture session organised by the Ekiti State FA have charged coaches and officials to monitor what their athletes eat, saying that dieting is one area that helps the development of sportsmen.

The session was aimed at improving coaches, players and stakeholders’ knowledge of proper health and nutrition for sportsmen.

The lecture with the theme: ‘Nutrition for Optimal Physical and Mental Development in Children: A case for improved performances in sports,’ featured Prof. Olatunde Oyelami, a professor of Paediatrics and Child Health at Obafemi Awolowo, Ile- Ife, and, Dr. Olatunde Ogundare, a Paediatrician at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital.

Others included, Dr. O.S Olatunya, the head of department, Paediatrics, EKSUTH and Dr. (Mrs.) Adefunke Babatola of the Paediatrician, Gastroenterologist and Infectious Disease, EKSUTH.

The online lectures, held on Saturday and Sunday, was moderated by Dr. Babatunde Akinbinu, a public health physician, who is also a member of NFF Sports Medical Committee.

It touched several aspects of children’s health and nutrition for the growth and the impact on performances in sports.

CEO of Mees Palace Academy, a partner of EKSFA, Emmanuel Adukwu, stated that the lectures have informed and inspired him in planning a better nutrition for children in his academy.

Prof. Oyelami hinged his lecture on the need to have adequate feeding with proper nutrients for children’s growth, adding that some foods that are popular with the average Nigerian family are actually not helping the development of children because they lack the required nutrients.

He advised parents to ensure that beans is part of their children’s diet because of its richness in carbohydrate and protein, adding that fish could replace red meat in home diets with vegetables and fruits, as it’s available all year round, completing the meal.

Oyelami disclosed that feeding children on garri or similar starch-dense carbohydrates, confectioneries like puff-puff, sugars and soft drinks, is inimical to their growth, adding that stunted growth or smallish stature of some children could directly be attributed to the types of foods they take.

He said improper feeding has significantly impacted on the growth and size of the average Nigerian child and their performances in sports.

Dr. Babatola in his submission listed other indirect causes of malnutrition to include low socio- economic status, lack of female education and harmful cultural practices. She advocated that the girl-child should be educated and empowered to be able to also support their families adequately.

On his part, Emmanuel Adukwu lamented the small stature of an average Nigerian child, saying that it has continued to affect his or her performance.

“We are truly bothered about this cankerworm. And at Mees Palace Football Academy, we plan to have a world class nutrition centre which would cater for all classes and grades of athletes up to their old age,” Adukwu explained.


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