The Secretary-General of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Olumide Baminduro on Wednesday announced that athletes would resume camping ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics on Jan. 2. Baminduro told newsmen in Abuja that the board of AFN had decided to change the plan in order to achieve podium success at the Games.
The Games are scheduled to run from Aug. 5 to 21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “Knowing the importance of the Olympic Games, the board met to strengthen the strategic plan that will help us to achieve podium success during the Games. “The board decided that athletes that have met the standard are to be put together in our High Performance Centre, Port Harcourt.
“They have been here for some weeks. We went on break from Dec. 22 for the Christmas holiday and now to resume Jan. 2. “The foundation training programme tagged `Predilection and Conditioning Exercise’, commenced last month,’’ he said. Baminduro said for an athlete to achieve podium success, he or she must go through the foundation training programme as a build-up toward the new season.
He said the federation initiated other programmes for the season that includes: Over Distance, All Comers, Our Golden links, and International events that would help to build up athletes. “We have actually rolled out this programme to all clubs and the state associations affiliated to us. “These are our strategic programmes aimed at ensuring that we achieve our objective,” he said.
Baminduro said that junior athletes were camping with the seniors in preparation for the World Junior championship to be staged in Russia. “We need to have the junior athletes join the senior team because they are the future of athletics and we must give them all necessary assistance,” he said.
The sec-gen said he could not give a target for the Rio Games yet, since the federation was still fighting for other athletes to achieve the entry standard for the Games. “Athletes still have up to June to July 2016 to make the qualifying standard for the Games. At the end of July, the federation will be able to make a projection of target,’’ Baminduro said.