In a bid to ensure that Nigeria places tops at the 2014 Africa Youth Games holding in Botswana from May 20 – 31 perform to their optimum, the Honourable Minister of Sports, Dr. Tammy Danagogo on Wednesday urged the athletes in camp preparing for the competition to redouble their effort in training as that was a sure way for them to win medals.
The reassurance came as the minister led a delegation of top sports administrators and NSC Directors which included the Director General of the National Sports Commission, NSC, Honourable Gbenga Elegbeleye, AFN president, Chief Solomon Ogba, Secretary General of the NOC, Mr Tunde Popoola to visit the camps and watch the athletes training at the Abuja National Stadium.
The visit started from the Velodrome at the Abuja National stadium and took the minister to the Indoor Hall, Swimming pool, gymnasium and the FIFA Goal Project, all at the Package B of the stadium where athletes in Judo, cycling, Karate, taekwonda , swimming, wrestling, gymnastics, badminton and football were all training.
During a chat with the athletes, Dr Danagogo told them he was impressed with their dedication to training and assured them that everything has been put in place to ensure they had the best of training for the competition in order to win gold medals for the country.
He however, added that the athletes on their own part should put in their best because, “my presence here shows that Mr. President is very interested in your training, so you have to redouble your effort to win gold and bring honour to the country so that I can lead you to Mr. President who is a lover of sports to receive you, adding, “you know when the president shakes your hand, other things will follow.
If you do well, you will not only be bringing honour to the country but you will become heroes and many doors will be open to you.”
He particularly told the U-15 football team that “you know Nigeria is always winning laurels in youth football, so we expect nothing short of gold from you. You have to put in your best and ensure that you maintain our leadership position in youth football.”
Responding on behalf of his colleagues, Andong Essien, a karateka said the minister’s visit was aorale booster for them as it spur them to train harder and win laurels for the country.
“We are happy that you came to see us training, seeing your faces alone will spur us to train harder and do well and we hope you will keep motivating us,”Andong said.
On her part, Esther Ahua, a volleyball player said that “with your support and God, we will bring back the gold, we will not disappoint the country.”