The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Barrister Solomon Dalung, has reiterated his resolve to upgrade sporting facilities and equipment in the country in 2019.
Dalung made the assertion while watching gymnasts train at the gymnasium complex at the Abuja National Stadium.
The sports minister expressed his discontent over the poor level of facilities at the complex, stating that talented athletes must be trained with the right equipment.
“Having inspected the facilities and the athletes, there is no doubt that we have the talents to compete with the best gymnast in the world.” He said
“But what is missing is the training facilities and the equipment, the equipment here is obsolete the springboard here is not international standards.”
“If we keep training with bad equipment our athletes will take more time to adjust instead of training to win medals and am not impress with the facilities that we have here.”
Dalung went further by requesting the ministry’s director of facilities to come up with a memorandum to acquire modern equipment for gymnastics.
“I have directed the director of facilities to immediately to put a memo to me recommending the procurement of modern facilities for training.”
“We have young gymnasts so if we start training them with obsolete equipment then it will also form part of their psychology and it will be difficult to correct.”
Dalung also noted that the ministry will embark on updating facilities during the year, adding that the National Stadium and the Hostels will be renovated for optimum usage.
“In 2019 will be more interesting in updating our facilities we have made some provisions in the budget for that. We can still accommodate the gymnastics equipment in our overhead cost and recurrent expenditure so it will not take too long or we to get them and other expensive ones will be cover by the budget.” He concluded
In his reaction ahead coach of TIG Anthony Asuquo expressed his delight to the sports minister for coming to their aids of the athletes and also vowed to continue to train podium finish gymnast ahead of international competitions.
“I am happy, because the minister wants the progress of the gymnast by wanting to get the right equipment for them.”
“Equipment is what we need to train well and get one ready for the competitions because without good equipment the athletes can’t give their best performance. We are working hard to win medals for the country in upcoming competitions” he noted.