Sports minister Solomon Dalung has pledged government’s commitment to the preparations for the African Youth Games in Algiers next month.
Dalung made the pledge when he visited some of the athletes camped at Agura Hotel, Abuja at the weekend.
Dalung said, “I want to assure you that government will finance and support your camping. You will be given all your entitlements because under my watch, nobody’s right will be taken away. Your welfare is very important and we will deliver on that. As we do that, we expect you too to work very hard and make your country proud.
“The camping exercise will avail you the opportunity to prove yourself. I believe that at the end of the day, you should be able to challenge us by making it difficult for us to drop anybody. You can only do this by competing favourably and making the final list.
“As young athletes, I must tell you that in sports lies a great career. You cannot be a successful sportsman or woman without self discipline, respect and determination. This is a golden opportunity and you must cash into it.
“This opportunity will also enable you to build team spirit, meet with people from different places and cultural backgrounds and religions and to make new friends. I advise you to maximise this opportunity.”
He also advised the athletes against migrating to other countries in search of greener pastures.
Team captain Ramotu Yakubu promised that they would train hard to make the country proud in Algiers.
Director Grassroots sports Ademola Are said badminton, beach volleyball, athletics, weightlifting and gymnastics athletes are in camp.
“On the whole we have athletes camping in 18 sports across the nation. 142 athletes are camped in Agura Hotel. 76 are at Westpoint Hotel comprising judo, taekwondo and swimming while the football team are camped at Nigerlink Hotel.”