The Minister of Sports and Youth Development Sunday Dare has assured Nigerian stakeholders that the National Sports Festival will not be shifted again.
The tournament has been scheduled to hold on February 14, 2021.
According to the Minister, “after the National Sports Festival in February this year, we will move to the National Youth Games and continue the build up to the Olympic Games.
“Building quality facilities and engaging good coaches, which are keys to producing world-class athletes, require heavy investment,” stressed the minister even as he hinted that the sport sector was going to benefit from the fund soon.
“We have asked for 25 per cent of the Lottery Fund to come to sports. Jamaica and England give between 31 to 38 per cent of their Lottery Funds to sports, but right now we are getting nothing from the fund.
“We hope to get the approval for the Lottery money in the first quarter of the year,” revealed Dare.
On the adopt-an-athlete initiative, which was introduced to cater for athletes’ welfare, Dare said it has been successful so far, assuring all that this year, it would accommodate more athletes.
“The initiative provides $10, 000 training funds for home-based athletes, while the foreign-based get $20, 000. The money goes directly to the athletes, who are expected to use it for their training, medicals and travels for competitions.
“The benefiting athletes sign MoUs with the adopting companies or individuals so that all the parties are protected.
“The initiative was stalled by the Covid-19 outbreak last year, but more companies have lined up to be part of it. We are looking at an initial 48 athletes benefiting,” concludes the sports minister.