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Minister, Edo move to rescue ailing Eagles former defender, Sunday Eboigbe

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Sunday Dare

Ministry begins programme to revive long distance races
Sports Minister, Sunday Dare and Edo State have started moves to rescue the ailing former Super Eagles defender, Sunday Eboigbe, whose predicament was first highlighted by The Guardian last week.

Dare and Edo State’s Deputy Governor, Phillip Shaibu have raised a medical team to take over Eboigbe’s case with a view to getting him back to his feet.

Eboigbe, who won two African Nations Cup silver medals for Nigeria in 1984 and 1988, as well as the WAFU Cup while playing for New Nigerian Bank of Benin, has been bedridden by a strange ailment, which has made his limbs immobile.

According to the Minister’s Special Assistant on Media, John Joshua Akanji, Dare has sent a staff of the ministry to Benin to ascertain the needs of the former central defender and to also present some cash and other items to him.

Akanji said the minister also contacted Shaibu, who then raised a medical team to do a proper evaluation of the former star’s state of health.

Meanwhile, the sports minister has begun moves to revive long distance running in the country. To this effect, Dare has directed long-distance races’ coaches to come up with proposals for renovating the training camps in Pankshin, Plateau State and Mambila, Taraba State to acceptable standards.

Speaking during a virtual meeting with coaches, the private sector and other stakeholders, Dare also mandated the coaches to scout for talents, camp current runners and develop training programmes.

In the meeting with the minister were Professor Ezra Gunen, Tony Osheku, Stephen Nuhu and Timon Gunen, Nigeria’s 5,000m record holder, as well as directors of the Sports Ministry.

According to Akanji, these experts were in the meeting to provide insights into long distance races and how best to improve Nigeria’s ranking.

The minister tasked the stakeholders to audit the training camps in Mambila and Pankshin to ascertain the extent of renovation needed to bring it up to the desired standard.

“Once we see that plan, we can now slice that plan up into two or three stages, what is needed in the short run to activate it quickly to start developing these talents, with the Olympics in view.

“In that proposal, we need to also have your idea about the coaches, we need to have your idea about the training templates, as much as possible, so that proposal should determine and put forward what is needed. You are the expert in this area, and I am sure that you can give us a proposal that is tight but also allows us to do something in the short term and then go ahead to do the medium term and then the long term.

“The resources we have are not unlimited, they are limited. But the ministry will leverage on what it can get and as we prepare the 2021 budget, I will make sure that long distance gets a very close attention,” he promised.


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