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6 Dec 2013

Bring only U-17 athletes to national youth games – Ijirigho

Cross River  grassroots development coordinator, Bruce Ijirigho has urged the Sports Ministry to adhere strictly the rule guiding the age-limit of athletes that will participate in the National Youth Games, which began yesterday in Abuja.
At the last National School Sports Festival held in Ilorin, CrossRiver won a whooping 119 gold medals in all the events. The closest was LagosState with 49 gold. However, at the National Youth Games, Ijirigho is not so sure if his young lads will go that far.
“ We are not sure of any specific event at the National Youth Games. This is because we do not know the kind of athletes other States will be bringing. I cannot say if they will bring Under -17 kids or athletes who are in school.
“But I trust that the sports ministry will do very well to stick to the earlier pronouncement by the minister that only U-17 and school kids will participate in the games and if this is strictly adhered to, it will be the best thing that has ever happened to Nigeria in terms of youth sports development.” It is only CrossRiver and Lagos States that have progra-mmes for grassroots sports development. Others most often had had to rely on products from grassroots coaches and also on over-aged athletes in age-grade compet-itions.


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