At the 2018 National Youth Games only athletes aged 15 and under will be allowed to compete says Ademola Are. Are is the Director of Grassroots Sports Development in the Ministry of Youths and Sports.
Athletes who participated at the African Youth Games earlier in the year still within the age range will also be allowed to compete in Ilorin, Kwara state venue of the National Youth Games.
Are who was reacting to rancor at recently concluded Zonal eliminations for the 2018 edition of National Youth Games revealed that athletes above 15 can not participate at the competitions.
The Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports official told www.aclsports.com that the sports minster, Solomon Dalung announced at the closing ceremony of the 3rd Edition that only athletes below 15 years of age will be allowed to take part in the National Youth Games.
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He said the National Passport is the most genuining means of knowing the real age of the athletes.
“There is no way we can stop any of the 2018 Africa Youth Games athletes less than 15 years of age from participating at this year’s National Youth Games. If any of them present his or her National passport and it’s clearly stated they are less than 15 years, we have no choice than to allow them participate”.
“It is on record that the minister of sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung gave a standing order that only athletes below 15 years of age will be allowed to take part in this year’s National Youth Games.
“This move will enable us fight age falsification and achieve the long-term objectives of the National Youth Games”.
“The Youth Games will create the right platform for the country to discover talent as well as replace the aged ones for future competitions. The purpose will be defeated if at the end of the games we still come out with the same old athletes”.
He said, “If any athlete above 17 years old is cleared at the Zonal eliminations, when you get to Ilorin, all those things will be straightened out”.