Laloko wants other venues for National Youth Games
Former Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Technical Director, Kashimawo Laloko, has criticised the use of Ilorin, Kwara State, as ‘permanent venue’ for the National Youth Games. Since inception of the games, the city has hosted every edition, thus, denying other cities opportunity to improve their facilities for even development in the country.
The games, a yearly gathering of youths, who are under-15 for sports competitions, was created in 2013 by the National Sports Commission to unearth talents that will go on to excel in their adulthood and eventually represent the country in the senior international competitions in the nearest future.
Laloko, who frowned at Ilorin hosting all the previous five editions of the games, stated that it was a disservice to other states that would have loved to host and develop their facilities.
“I want to thank initiator of the National Youth Games. People don’t know that traveling is a recreation. Sports allow tolerance and understanding among the children. But why are they still using Ilorin as the only centre?
“Other states should also be given opportunity to host and develop their facilities. They can bring it to Adamasingba in Ibadan for sports development. Lagos State is a nice place for the youth games because they too want their facilities to be improved upon and be used for the Games.
“Kaduna is there and other states of the Federation. So, why are we limiting ourselves only to Ilorin when other states can also benefit in terms of improving their facilities for such competition?” he asked.
It will recalled that in the last edition of the African Youth Games in Algiers in 2018, over 30 athletes discovered in Ilorin represented and won medals for the country in athletics, badminton, canoe-kayak, weightlifting, wrestling, cycling, judo and taekwondo.