The Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) says it is hopeful of announcing a revised programme of activities for the year by June at the latest after the coronavirus pandemic utterly disrupted both national and international wrestling calendars.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has led to suspensions and outright cancellation in some cases, of most sporting events around the world, with wrestling, badly hit as well.
Speaking through its President Hon. Daniel Igali, the NWF says it believes wrestling could return in October at the earliest, adding that her athletes have been advised to train outside the mats to avoid physical contacts.
“The Olympic Qualifiers were affected, some ranking tournaments have been affected, and from every indication, we don’t think any competition will take place before October from the feelers I have,” the Olympic champion said.
“So, we will also tailor our activities to that of the international federation. Hopefully, by May/June we should be able to come out with the plan of activities yet again, as disrupted by COVID-19 and to have it dovetail with what the international federation (United World Wrestling) will be doing. So, we would have our training, our competitions and our camps all in sync with the new guidelines that will come out from the international federation.”
With the social distancing protocols in place for the safety of people during the coronavirus pandemic, the NWF has also directed its athletes to stay away from the mats as they engage in order activities to maintain their fitness.
“Our activities have been curtailed by the coronavirus (pandemic), but we’ve told athletes to stay active,” the NWF boss said. “Staying active does not mean that we have to be on the mat. We’ve tried avoiding physical one-on-one contacts.
“All the coaches around the country have been briefed that, until further notice, we don’t train on the mats, but we are able to train outside the mats.
“So, we are doing physical conditioning, exercises, they are running, they are swimming, they are doing weight training and staying away from the mats.
“But from the way things are going, I think not too long we would be able to get back to full activity.”