Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare wants to set up a Talent Hunt Program to identify and nurture talented youngsters after coming across videos of two young female boxers on Twitter.
Dare made this known via his Twitter handle on Saturday in what appeared to be a decision taken on the spur of the moment adding that he had been “inspired” by the video of the 8-year old boxers he’d seen.
The minister requested the name and contact details of 8-year old Raimoh Animashaun, and her dad Jamiu who also doubles as her coach after coming across a video of the aspiring boxer in training.
“I need the name of the little girl and the number of the coach. Another budding talent. I am inspired to lead the ministry to crank up a Talent Hunt Program. THP that will pick up these young ones and nurture them,” Dare tweeted after watching the video.
Prior to that tweet, Dare had confirmed that he’d gotten in touch with yet another 8-year-old budding boxer Shekinah, her father Quadri and coach Sulaiman with a view to “adopting” her after coming across a video of her impressive training routine on Twitter.
“The video of 8-year old Shekinah. Amazing stuff. Brilliant boxing Talent. The gold is in the Child. I spoke with her father Quadri in Lagos this morning and her Coach Sulaiman ‘energy’ to find out about her. We will follow her and get her adopted,” Dare tweeted.
Dare’s plan to begin a program dedicated solely to identifying and nurturing young budding sports talent might prove popular with many, but many more would love to see a more institutionalised process especially considering Nigeria’s lack of developmental pathways for aspiring athletes and sports enthusiasts.
His announcement also builds on recent popular policy statements by the 53-year-old who seems to have struck a chord with many Nigerians in how he communicates his plans to tackle the serious systemic challenges bedevilling sports development in Nigeria.
Addressing “Batch C” members of the Nigeria Youth Service Corps in Keffi, Nasarawa State at the weekend, the sports minister announced the start of open athletics and football trials for serving members which is aimed at discovering new talents.
Earlier in August, he’d announced the setting up of the Athletes Sustenance Fund (ASF) as a means to address the pressing issues of athletes’ welfare which he said will help in “securing the commitment” of Nigerian athletes and enable them to focus on their craft as well as help bridge the funding gap which has made the provision and maintenance of sports facilities difficult.