The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has assured athletes of participation in international competitions that would enhance their preparations for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia and other world meets.
The Technical Director of AFN, Sunday Adeleye, gave the assurance in an interview on Saturday in Abuja as the two-day All-Comers Athletics Championship ended on Saturday.
Contrary to Nigeria’s athletics season beginning in January, the new AFN board has ensured that it will henceforth begin in November of every year with the 2017/2018 season holding on Nov. 24 and Nov. 25.
Adeleye said the event and other local and international competitions to be organised by the board would ensure that only the best athletes would be opportune to represent the nation in international meets.
“There is no better way to encourage athletes than creating avenues for them to compete and reward good performances. All these are to ensure that our athletes are in A-shape before the Commonwealth Games.
“The more athletes compete, the better for them. They have like three competitions after this ahead of the Commonwealth Games as four athletes will emerge from the All-Comers to go for the Classics.
“Nobody is going to Australia without meeting the AFN standard; we are not going to Australia for a Jamboree.
“We want to go there and surpass the initial medals we had record in Glasgow.
“The calibre of athletes we have are young, so they can showcase their talents and start getting in shape for international competitions,’’ he said.
The board member also said that the Golden Leagues and other competitions would be held to get the best team for the nation.
Adeleye added that all were being done to ensure that the nation got the best set of athletes to represent it at international events.
“There is hotel accommodation and winning bonuses for athletes that do well,’’ he said.
Also, Titus Ayodele, the Sports Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) said: “AFN has really tried, competition is an avenue for participants to open up their body system for upcoming international competitions.’’
Over 200 male and female athletes registered to compete for different categories of track and field events.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held in Gold Coast, Australia between April 4 and April 15.