Sports Ministry To Begin Camping For Athletes Ahead Of Tokyo 2020

The Sports Ministry has announced plans for a national camp for athletes and officials in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games.

Mr John Joshua-Akanji, Special Adviser (Media) to Sports Minister Mr Sunday Dare disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

Originally scheduled for summer of 2020, the Tokyo Olympic Games will now take place in the summer of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the statement, the camping will serve to bring athletes up to speed following the coronavirus-induced restrictions on sporting activities nationally.

Joshua-Akanji explained that the local camping which follows the recent lifting of restrictions on sporting activities in the country will ensure early preparations for athletes who have qualified for the Games.

According to him, the first phase of camping will be in Abuja and Lagos with Taekwondo, Rowing/Para-Rowing, Canoeing/Para-Canoeing in Abuja while Para-Powerlifting opens in Lagos.

“Other Sports Federations where athletes have qualified for both Games will commence camping shortly afterwards in batches,” he added.

The Ministry is also opening a training camp in Pankshin, Plateau state specifically for road races and also to revamp the middle and long distance racing culture in Nigeria, Joshua-Akanji said.

He stressed that all camps are to strictly observe the COVID-19 Sports Code and Resumption Protocol already developed by the Ministry in both training and accommodation venues.

The protocol, Joshua-Akanji noted, had already been trialled to great success in a competitive environment at the Okowa Athletics Resumption Meet in Asaba jointly organised by the sports ministry and the Delta state government on 6 November.