‘FG will develop home-grown talents, expand ‘adopt’ initiative’
Sports Minister, Senator John Owan-Enoh, has revealed that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s government has prioritised the discovery and development of home-grown talents that would be aided to become world-class athletes through a carefully planned programme.
The minister also disclosed that the government would expand the adopt-a-talent programme started by the previous regime to take care of facilities and specific events.
Speaking in Asaba just before the opening ceremony of the ongoing National Youth Games in the Delta State capital, the minister said the current government has taken into account all the programmes initiated by its predecessors and would build on them to transform the sports sector.
He said: “We know that welfare is an issue affecting all the federations negatively; so, we will look at ways to solve that problem.
“One of the most important policies of the government is to grow local talents such that they can compete favourably with their overseas-born counterparts. We will not close the door on overseas-born athletes; rather, we will create an environment that will enable youths born and living in Nigeria get to the best of their talents.
“I believe that the adopt-an-athlete programme is a good policy, but we will stretch it beyond athletes to facilities and specific sports.”
On the ongoing National Youth Games, Senator Owan-Enoh said the Federal Government sees it as one of the most important programmes, which the country needs to remain competitive at international championships.
“I believe that gathering over 4,754 young athletes in one centre should not be toyed with. It is no joke when you gather the best of Nigeria’s children to compete because it is a forum to discover talents in various sports.
“We are looking beyond talent discovery to getting the country’s best, who would be trained to become the world’s best. It is very important that we help these children to realise their potential.
“The National Youth Games is also very important as it helps build national unity as children from various states and different backgrounds meet, interact and become friends. We must ensure that we don’t disappoint the kids in the promotion of national unity,” he said.
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