To check age cheat in sports, National Academicals Sports Committee (NASCOM) has said that age grade competitions should not be organized outside the school system.
Speaking at the weekend during the unveiling of NASCOM calendar for 2013/2014, chairman of the body, Yemi Idowu, age grade competitions are not supposed to be staged outside schools, saying, “We need to send a clear message to all stakeholders that age grade competition should be undertaken by school children and it should be domiciled in schools.”
He added: “We must avoid organizing age grade competitions outside the school system. This is the first objective. We should also avoid open competitions for age grade competitions. We need students who have a verifiable track record, which can stand the test of scrutiny.”
Also in its efforts to bring vibrancy to school sports across the country, NASCOM has once again reaffirmed its support for Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF) and Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON).
According to Idowu, the body was set up to compliment the efforts of NSSF and YSFON, saying, “at the inaugural meeting of NASCOM, the committee agreed that it would not be organizing any new competition which would be in conflict with the work already being done by the component entities like NSSF and YSFON, rather NASCOM will be the umbrella body which will be used to jointly raise awareness and funds for the promotions of schools sports and improvement of age grade competitions at the school level.”
Idowu said that the calendar encompasses the timetable of activities of bodies like, would be made public across the country by NASCOM.
He also used the occasion to re-emphasis that the body would not be staging any competition but to support the component bodies in all its activities.
He added: “We need to create bigger talent pool for sports, which can only be achieved by increasing the percentage of school age kids participating in competitive sports. We have introduced Rythmn N Play as brand to attract more children to participate in sports. Hopefully this will keep them longer in school sports such that we will have a higher percentage of children graduating to elite sports and the sporting federations.”
He however, acknowledged, “Naturally, we all appreciate that it will take some effort to persuade and change the mindset of some groups in Nigeria, but I think the change is possible. I think we can have a win-win situation where all parties will still get what they want and Nigeria will be better off.”