By Ben Efe
With the unveiling of a new logo and constitution for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN last Wednesday in Abuja, coaches and athletes are looking for a new beginning.
But Abu Dhabi-based coach Olalekan Shade has urged the board of the AFN to go beyond the grandstanding and usher in a new era for athletics in the country.
“Our country and its athletes have suffered enough. There has to be real changes, it is not about just changing logos and ushering in a new constitution.
“What plans do they have for the athletes? There has to be a programme like the AFN Classics we had in the past and athletes who finished top 10 were assured of something.
“We have to come up with schemes that will make us not rely on only one athlete. We are a country with abundant talents and we must do something concrete to discover and nurture young athletes. And also note that the coaches must be motivated.
While speaking at the unveiling ceremony, AFN president Ibrahim Gusau had assured that the re-branding of athletics in Nigeria will open doors to new developments.
“We are hoping to construct six national Athletics Development Centres. The process for the Middle and Long Distance projects in Jos, Plateau State is in the pipe line while it is our ambition to create job opportunities for our coaches and train 240 new coaches in the next 18 months to meet the requirements of these centres.”