NOC allays fears over preparation for AAG, Olympics’ qualifiers
THE Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) Secretary General, Babatunde Popoola, says Nigerians have no cause to worry over the country’s preparation for both the All African Games (AAG) and the Olympic qualifiers.
Popoola, who assures that preparations by all the affiliated bodies were in top gear, reveals, “some of the federations’ teams would soon be in camp; some are already in camp, while others have gone for trials and competitions already.
Popoola explains that the fixtures for the All Africa Games are not yet out, saying “our plans now is on how to participate in a clean All Africa Games because we had issues in some events at the last games.”
Popoola is pleased with the successes recorded by some federations in the qualifiers already held, adding, “Our women are doing well in athletics. They are also doing well in handball and table tennis; we are getting seriously prepared for the events.”
On funding, Popoola said the NOC would support the federations, adding, “Government is doing practically everything possible to ensure they are well funded. In fact, some funds were released last week and we are good to go.
“Nigerians should just be hopeful and then support us in whatever way they can. At least through the media for example, let the people understand what the whole programme is all about. The federations, NSC, and the government are working together towards the success of the All African Games.”
Popoola also revealed that most of the federations have gone abroad for different shades of preparation, saying, “There are programmes on ground and hopefully by early next week, we will be able to confirm where they are going.
“There is a schedule for the athletes to enter their training camp, but it all depends on finance. So, it’s better for them to go for competitions, do the elimination to qualify for these games. Some of them have not even qualified, but majority have already qualified. We will just look at what would happen in the next one week and then we look at what funding is available.”
The NOC scribe revealed that the committee has been busy scouting for sponsors, adding, “We are going about the business of getting sponsors through the use of marketers. There will be a marketing commission, which of course will supervise all our national activities. There have been so many contacts made with our would-be partners and of course they were expected to have started getting results in terms of relationship.”