Former chairman of the Rivers State Hockey Federation, Arthur Jumbo has said going back to school sports is the only way the country can perform well in international competitions.
Jumbo was a guest at the monthly round table meeting with journalists in Port Harcourt tagged, the SWAN/Rivers Platform.
The board member of the Hockey Federation said the sport should be developed from the grassroots if Nigeria wants to get on the hockey medal table at the Tokyo 2024 Olympic Games.
“I do not think it is a big thing to achieve. It is about dedication. If we have exposure and consistent tournaments then we can be on the right path to achieving this.
“We must also go back to schools because that would be building the very foundation for them.
“The Olympic Games is still seven years away and I tell you that you can even get a fresh player to start playing hockey today and he will be ready for the Olympic Games in 2024,” Jumbo said.
He reiterated the need for competitions after the talents are harnessed from the schools.
“There must be lots of competitions which we do not have in right now in Nigeria.
“Here we have just one tournament and you can never achieve much with that. You cannot even achieve anything with it, but the most important of them all is the schools.
“We need to teach kids the basics, get them to love the game. The fundamentals need to be learned at a young age,” the former Rivers State hockey boss said.
“Seven years is a long time to plan and we can get these players exposed and ready for the big time. We also need a foreign coach.
“I am not against Nigerian coaches, but we are talking exposure here. We need to get a foreign coach to aide what we do in the schools and I believe in seven years we will be ready,” Jumbo enthused.