Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung has called for the replacement of “recycled athletes” as the Ministry of Sports draws the curtain on this year’s National Youth Games in Ilorin today.
The 2017 National Youth Games, which was held at the University of Ilorin, is the 3rd edition and featured over 5,000 athletes from 31 states of the nation.
In a press release by Nneka Ikem Anibeze, SA to the Minister on media, Dalung said: “We have continued to recycle athletes over decades and now they have reached their peak.”
The closing ceremony witnessed the handover of newly discovered talents to various National Sports Federations for proper development and monitoring by the Talent Identification Committee, a committee made up of grassroots coaches, ex-internationals, and technical officials.
“We need to replace or augment with younger athletes so that as the older ones are slowing down with age, the next generation can understudy and step into their shoes.” the Minister added.
The Minister also hinted that intensive training of the discovered talents will begin in earnest as Nigeria prepares for next year’s Africa Youth Games and the World Youth Olympics, in Algiers, Algeria and Buenos Aires, Argentina respectively.