No fewer than 5,000 athletes from the 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will be competing at the 2019 National Youth Games (NYG).
The Secretary Main Organising Committee (MOC) for the National Youth Games, Emmanuel Okere stated this while addressing newsmen in Abuja
Okere said the committee is ready to host a successful event, adding that it will provide opportunity for Nigeria to discover and groom its next crop of Olympics medallists.
“We are going to involve entertainment during the opening ceremony which goes in line with our mission to combine education, culture and sports together,” he said.
“The youth games age bracket has been changed from the 17 to 15 and we will be looking at vibrant youths coming to show their talents in different fields as we seek to groom next crop of Olympic medallist for the country.”
“We have also increased the number of sports from 25 to 34; we are also going to have large athletes this time because after our delegation meeting held September 1, we discovered that over 5,000 athletes have registered for the games”.
Okere noted that the Games’ organisers are committed to tackling the menace of age cheats during the games, adding that experts will be on ground to screen all the athletes.
“We are serious about fighting against age cheat during the games, which is why we have dedicated September 9 to screen all the athletes with the help of some professionals before the commencement of the competition proper.”
“So far, Delta and Lagos state have the largest contingent coming to compete in the games, Zamfara state is yet to complete their registration but the governor told us that between now and the opening, they will complete their registration.”
The National Youth Games is scheduled billed for 7th to 17th September, 2019 at the University of Ilorin, Kwara state.