The Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, has promised that Nigeria would produce formidable athletes that will represent the country at the youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina and the African Youth Games in Algiers, Algeria in 2018.
Dalung made this known at the opening ceremony of the 3rd Edition of the National Youth Games at the University of Ilorin, Kwara state.
He said the national youth games was tailored after the African Youth Games, the Commonwealth Games and Youth Olympics Games which are most cases for ages 17 and below.
He said the talent identification committee should ensure that the right athletes are identified during the games so that grooming of the athletes for the youth games in Algeria and Argentina commence in earnest.”
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He recalled that the first edition in Abuja produced athletes that represented the country in Samoa.
“You would recall that the maiden edition of this games held in Abuja in 2013, produced talented athletes that represented Nigeria at the 2014 African Youth Games in Botswana and the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa winning laurels for Nigeria. The second edition of the games (Ilorin 2016) also produced athletes that represented Nigeria at various international competitions,” he said.
Dalung urged the participants to see their role in the game as a stepping stone to greater height enjoining the athletes to be humble in victory and glorious in defeat.
He thanked President Mohammadu Buhari for his magnanimity in granting approval for the hosting of the important games, appreciating the Vice Chancellor and staff of the University of Ilorin for hosting the national event for the second time.