<img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-157613" alt="Bolaji-Abdullahi-1" src="http://www.nigerialatest.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/national-youth-games-no-medals-for-athletes-abdullahi.jpg” width=”300″ height=”182″ />The Honourable Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi has declared that medals would not be given to participating athletes and teams in the forthcoming National Youth Games, which will take place in Abuja between December 5th and 15th, 2013.
He explained that the reason for this was to discourage cheating. “Every athlete will get a certificate of participation, and one of the reasons we decided that there will be no medals is for contingents not to have room to bring overage children into the competition,” Abdullahi said.
He added that, “the moment we start giving medals, everyone leading athletes to this competition will worry about their position on the medals table. Therefore, they will do all they can to win.”
Abdullahi stated that athletes competing in the games would be those enrolled in school, as their records of enrolment would be checked properly.
The NYG is a platform created by the NSC to encourage youth participation Sports. The inaugural edition will take place in Abuja and will feature 14 sports: boxing, badminton, handball, squash, taekwondo, track and field, weightlifting, basketball, football, para-powerlifting, table tennis, tennis, volleyball and wrestling. Expected to participate at the games are 4,520 boys and girls from across the 36 states and Abuja.
Also speaking recently at the unveiling of the official mascot and logo of the games, the Senate President, David Mark, urged that more funds be allocated to sports, as it is one of the factors that unify Nigerians.
He called on the NSC to use the platform of the NYG for genuine talent identification and discovery. “It doesn’t matter if all the children who are going to take us to where we want are all Bolajis. If it is so, so be it.
“What we want is for them to get us what we want. It is not the name, where they come from or who sponsors them that matters.
“I think we have allowed some politics, sometimes, to get into our sporting activities and it helps to mess it up.
“So, I want to urge that we forget politics, religion and ethnicity in this talent-hunt, for us to have genuine Nigerians who will take us to where we want to be in sports,” Mark said.
Source : The Best Nigeria Forum