The President of Nigeria Fencing (NF), Adeyinka Samuel, on Sunday said that part of the federation’s efforts at grassroots development of the game would be training of 10,000 fencers in Lagos using the schools in the state.
Samuel made the disclosure in an interview in Lagos at the ongoing Cadet and Junior African Fencing Championships in Lagos.
The competition which began on March 1, at the Molade Okoya Thomas Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere will end on March 5.
The competition has in attendance 22 countries with about 151 fencers.
Samuel said that part of the efforts at making Fencing which is newly introduced to the country would be an aggressive training and engagement of school children from primary to secondary.
“We want to make the sport popular and we have greater things to make sure that we impress it in the minds of the children. We are already making progress as a country.
“We want to go for the younger generation to encourage those people who have yet to witness the sport. Some of our partners on this project have agreed with us.
“We also want to make it a grassroots thing and one of the projects is that we are working to have about 10,000 fencers in Lagos State.
“We will be using the schools and assign coaches to train those children in the act of fencing at their free periods,’’ he said.
Samuel said that there were few clubs in Lagos which could serve as training centres for the fencers but that the training would start first from the schools.
“At the moment, we have few private clubs we have arranged with and at some point; the fencers will be training there.
“By and large, we as a federation will set up our own facilities where we will train our national athletes but the strategy first is to train them in their respective schools.
“We won’t bother the children to come to the club first, but we will take the trainings to the schools and each school will have its own structure and maybe a set time of two hours.
“Fencing is a good sport and I am its big fan not because I am a fencer but because of the discipline, focus and concentration it has taught me,’’ he said. (NAN)