The Ebonyi Sports Council has fixed its closed camping for the athletes that would represent the state in the forthcoming National Youth Games in Ilorin, Kwara for Aug. 29.
The Director of Sports, Mr Emmanuel Utobo, who made the disclosure on Friday in Abaliki in an interview noted that the camping would last for one week.
According to Utobo, the athletes have been in open camp since the past two weeks and that the closed camp will conclude preparations for the Games which run through Sept. 7 to Sept. 17.
“The state will be represented by 125 athletes who will participate in 14 sports consisting of ball and individual events.
“The state qualified to represent the zone in volleyball (male) basketball (male) and cricket (female) in the South-East zonal qualifiers held recently in Owerri, Imo.
“We will also participate in individual sports such as track and field, table tennis, badminton, wrestling, taekwando, scrabble and chess among others in male and female categories,’’ he said.
Utobo said that the state aimed to improve on its 2015 performance at the Games also held in Ilorin where it finished seventh on the overall medals table.
“We won two gold, two silver and three bronze medals and have enhanced the athletes’ technical and tactical abilities with accompanying motivational packages.
“Our preparations have also been enhanced with the provision of necessary facilities at the Abakaliki Township Stadium which was refurbished by the government.
“We hope to achieve our set targets before the departure date of Sept. 7 as the athletes are drawn from the 13 local government areas of the state,’’ he said.
He regretted that the government had been solely responsible for the athletes’ upkeep right from the zonal qualifiers to the present preparations.
“We will continue to appeal to private individuals and organisations to assist the contingent to excel at the competition and offer the athletes opportunities for achieving their life ambitions.
“They should not complain that the youths are idle and engaged in crime as the assistance can be through provision of feeding and related allowances and equipment among others,’’ he said.