Kwara State Governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed has identified inadequate preparation as a major bane of sports development in the country.
Dr Ahmed who gave this indication when the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Barrister Solomon Dalung visited him ahead of the National Youth Games in the State, suggested that Nigeria should place emphasis on sports activities where the country has core competences and areas of strength in other to win laurels in major competitions.
“We should use sports to drive us into nationhood because sports is a leveler and performance base, irrespective of social and economic backgrounds of the performer”, the governor advised.
Dr Ahmed noted that sports development is crucial for youth development as sports enhance mental disposition and physical capacities to cope with life.
The governor said, the state government would introduce Inter Secondary School Competition as part of efforts to rejuvenate sports in the State, adding that the Indoor Sports Hall of the Kwara State stadium complex would be renovated to restore its status as the hub of indoor sports in the country.
Speaking earlier, the Minister said the National Youth Games, holding in Ilorin was designed to promote sports development through discovery of talents that could be nurtured for sporting excellence in the future.
According to him, the National Youth Games was designed for young Nigerians below 17 years of age in order to catch budding talents young.
Barrister Dalung said through National Youth Games, Nigeria could halt the recycling of elite athletes, which has been taking place in the last two decades.
The Minister challenged states to direct their energies into sports development as sports have potentials of dissuading youths from crime, as well as create vistas of economic opportunities for youths.
Barr. Dalung commended the Kwara State Government for its financial and logistics supports towards the successful hosting of the National Youth Games in the State.