Sports administrators in Nigeria have given tips about how Team Nigeria can win at least five gold medals in Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The sports administrators who spoke at the Redeemer’s Sports 4th Annual Summit on Tokyo 2020 Olympics tagged “Maximizing the potentials of Nigeria youth, teenagers and children towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, Roles of the church, corporate organization, media and government”, stated that strategic planning, availability of facilities, regular training on the part of athletes and long term developmental progammes by Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), will be the factors that will lead Team Nigeria to win five gold medals in Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Speaking at the event, Director General, National Sports Commission, Alhassan Yakmut explained that Nigeria can achieve her dream in Tokyo 2020 Olympics if all hands are on deck.
He noted that lack of funding and long term developmental programmes are factors that have affected the performance of Team Nigeria in the previous Olympic Games.
“We are targeting five gold medals in 2020 Olympic Games, I think we should start now because if all logistics are put in place, I strongly believe that Nigeria can win five gold medals in Tokyo 2020. We should not think of winning five gold medals in next year’s Rio Olympics in Brazil because we don’t have long term developmental programmes in place right now and enough funds that can make us to achieve our dreams. I believe that if all stakeholders can think in the same direction, we will achieve our target in 2020 Olympic Games,” he said.
In his own comment, secretary General of Nigeria Olympic Committee, Babatunde Popoola agreed the country can win five gold medals in 2020 Olympic Games, adding that, there is great need to commence planning, building and developing the existing facilities to modern high performance standards capable of hosting world class championships and to be used by the athletes.
He noted that Nigeria has a huge population with over seventy per cent youth, which constitutes the talent pool that can be nurtured to stardom.
“I believe in the vision that by 2020 Olympic Games, Team Nigeria can win five gold medals. The Nigeria Olympic Committee is in position to provide international training and educational link, capacity building for the coaches and athletes to enhance their performance in the course of training ahead of 2020 Olympic Games,” he said.
In his own submission, Head of the Directorate of Sports in the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Paul Bankole urged relevant authorities to have a developmental programmes which gives room for coaches to begin scouting for talented athletes that can win gold medals for the country in the next five years.
He said the era of using ageing athletes is over while urging Nigeria Olympic Committee to look inward and give necessary support for coaches to ensure that the dream is achievable.
Chairman Brila Group Sports, Larry Izamoje said the media also has a role to play to ensure that Nigeria achieves her dream in 2020 Olympic Games.
He said journalists should use their platform to bring some local athletes to limelight, adding that, through media publicity, it will be easy for the national coaches to monitor the progress of such athletes.
Meanwhile the Nigeria Olympic Committee has entered a partnership with the Directorate of Sports of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG on ways of making Team Nigeria Olympic champions again at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The Memorandum of Understanding between the NOC and the RCCG was signed recently at the boardroom of the Olympic Committee in Lagos.
The Secretary General of the NOC, Tunde Popoola and the NOC administrator Mr. Emman Nweri signed the MoU on behalf of the Olympic Committee, while Pastor Paul Bankole, Head of the Directorate of Sports in the RCCG, signed on behalf of the church.