Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, has charged sports federations to present their best athletes for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan to ensure a podium finish.
He gave the directive yesterday in Abuja in a crucial meeting with presidents, secretaries of federations and technical directors.
He further stated that he will work with the federations to make sure that all athletes and their coaches are constantly trained to prepare them for Olympic 2020.
He intimated the federation that the ministry will create ‘Athletes Funds Grant’, stressing that athletes should constantly train to enable them to compete favourably with their counterparts in the world.
“We must put our best foot forward in our preparations towards these and all subsequent games, we cannot afford to employ the Olympic as a trail event, this is a global sporting competition,” he said.
“The joy of the olympic and the paralympic has transcended mere participation in winning and winning big. Countries now see the games as avenues to show off their sports prowess and make the statement that they are also leaders in their rights, besides winning in the Olympic open large space of opportunities for our athletes to grow”.
“We examine the plans for our participant at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic, and also on strategies to mobilize funding for our activities for the games.”
He further noted that the sports ministry would partner with the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) to ensure a positive projection of the country’s image at the games.
It would be recalled, that Nigeria had an abysmal performance at the 2016 Games in Brazil, winning just one bronze medal.
Team Nigeria’s best Olympics performance in recent time was at the 2008 edition in Beijing, China where they won a total of five medals, including two silver and three bronze medals.