Stories by Onochie Anibeze, in Berlin
The magnitude of work Nigeria requires to raise track and field to the level that will make impact in the world is daily dawning on the new board of athletics federation.


Having been part of the games here, seen the high standards of the leading countries and inquired about their programmes, AFN President Solomon Ogba admitted yesterday that “we have fallen so badly that the major work now is to stop the slide and see how we can pursue the likes of USA and Jamaica .

It may take us about ten years to get to the level they are in now. We will go back home and try to begin a programme that can spread to the schools and all areas. To get to the level we are seeing here, the ministry of education must work with the sports ministry from state to the national levels. It is not what AFN can do a lone. If we don’t go back to the school system, we may further slide.  From what I have seen, it will take us about ten years to get the level these people are,” Ogba said.

But these countries will not be stagnant or still during the years Ogba hopes Nigeria can begin their chase. In ten years, the leading countries in sports would have progressed further.  And Nigeria appears to be one country that rather than progress, they retrogress from a seeming reasonable position. It has happened in education, energy, health, infrastructure and sports etc.

Amaju Pinnick, the chairman of Delta Sports Commission who said he is here to learn a few things said that from his interactions with Jamaicans and their officials here, Delta would post more coaches to schools and plan bigger to reinvigorate sports in schools.

“We have been doing things in Delta but I have learnt more things here. Coaches may have to be sent to schools and their salaries may be routed through the education ministry so that they will report to the principals. We just have to do something about sports if we have to compete well among the nations globally,” Amaju said.


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