The Technical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria(AFN), Navy Captain Omatseye Nesiama has  proposed an actionable programme, which he insists would propel the country to glory at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

As the curtain falls on the London Games tonight and given that Team Nigeria failed in all events, Omoatseye said that Nigeria must activate the “Athletics Project Rio 2016”, immediately to avoid another embarrassing outing in four years’ time.

The AFNl man said that after careful examination of what went down in London that it was high time that Nigeria started long-term systematic preparations for major events, arguing that Nigeria cannot continue doing the same thing the old way without any meaningful development to the nation’s sports.

*Okagbare shortly after a race

“While at this Games I have taken time to observe critically, interacted and networked with persons with pedigree in the sport that would be relevant to our strategic plan for athletics excellence. This has put me in a good pedestal to make an objective assessment of our competition, preparation and execution effort.

“Therefore, irrespective of the position we come out of this Games, the certainty is that we should quickly start looking beyond London 2012 as even countries that have done well in this Games have commenced initial preparations for the next Games. I will therefore call on all well-meaning athletics and indeed sports loving Nigerians to support the ‘AFN PROJECT RIO 2016’.

“My deductions from the analysis of our athletes’ performances at the Games have helped me fine-tune my road-map to Rio 2016. It is something that must start now and would be available for all to contribute and run with to enable us achieve world acclamation and not only at regional and continental levels.

“It is obvious that there are areas where we just need to do something differently to achieve better results. We cannot continue to do same thing over and over and expect to obtain a different result.

“In a nut-shell, Athletics Project Rio 2016 will begin with an Athletics Coaches Open Forum and Clinic, whose aim is to discuss freely what coaches’ inhibitions are in Nigeria in terms of organisation/administration, sports plants (facilities), equipment and supplies, technical/professional competence.

“This would be followed by training on the methodology/modern trends in process of identifying, selection, training and development of youths and junior athletes for the world stage.

“Next would be the organisation of competitions targeted at talent discovery and preliminary development programmes assessment. The crux of the project would be activated with the activation of different Project RIO Athletics Talent Camps for discovered talents and their adoption by sponsors/revenue partners.

The talents would be exposed to competitions both home and abroad for exposure and assessment purposes. Ex-Olympians that are assessed as having things to offer would be attached to the camps to mentor the talents in the camps”, added Nesiama


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