World School Athletics Trials ends in Abeokuta
A two-day World School Athletics Trials, organised by the Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF), has been concluded with stakeholders lauding the event, which provided participants the opportunity to showcase their talents.
Over 1300 participant from primary and secondary schools across 24 states, including Lagos, Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa and hosts, Ogun, participated in the trials to select Nigeria’s contingent for the 2023 World School Athletics Championships slated for later in the year.
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), and the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), also hailed NSSF for the smooth organisation of the trials, which they said would help unearth fresh talents for the country.
AFN President, Tonobok Okowa and Secretary General of NOC, Tunde Popoola, were particularly impressed with the turnout of teams from over 20 states, while hoping that athletes from the trials would be properly nurtured into becoming world stars.
While some of the athletes will represent the country in Turkey in June/July, others will compete with their counterparts across the globe in Brazil at the International School Sport Federation Gymnasiade for U-15 boys and girls in August.
At the finals of the event held at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta, dignitaries, administrators and officials lauded the performance of the athletes and expressed optimism that the country will do well at the international championships.
The World Athletics Trials featured track and field events, with competitors in U-12, U-15 and U-18 showcasing the their talent. President of the Nigeria School Sport Federation, Olabisi Joseph, stated that students selected from event will begin camping ahead of the country’s participation at the global events.
Joseph commended the Ogun State Government for hosting the World School Athletics Trials. She also lauded the support of stakeholders to the successful staging of the two-day championship.
Joseph, who is also the Vice President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, urged government, corporate organisations and well-meaning individuals to support the body in sponsoring the athletes to Turkey, stating that the NSSF will commence preparations soon in order to ensure that the athletes excel at the ISF organised competitions.
Events competed for at the NSSF World School Athletics Trials include 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 3000m, Long Jump, High Jump, Discuss and Shot Put for boys and girls.