Lonsdale Adeoye, President, Nigeria Shooting Federation (NSF), says inclusion of shooting sport in the National Youth Games (NYG) will widen the country’s chances of hitting the podium at international meets and engaging more youths.
Adeoye made the assertion in Abuja.
The 2018 NYG officially started in Ilorin on Sept. 10 and will end on Sept. 17 with 3,800 athletes from 33 states participating in 33 sports, including wrestling, gymnastics and athletics.
According to him, the non-inclusion of a multi-medal sport like shooting in the NYG reduces the country’s chances of winning more medals at international competitions.
“There is abundance of raw talents in sports across the country and including shooting sport in the NYG will give young shooters from various states the platform to compete among themselves.
“Like it does to nation’s at international competitions, a very sharp shooter has the tendency to earn five gold, silver or bronze medals which boosts the chances of participating states.
“Also, shooting sport requires high sense of discipline in athletes, especially in the areas of concentration and calmness and the society stands to gain a lot from widespread of the game.
“International competitions in shooting and other sports are held for young athletes round the year; the NYG would have been a good ground for selection of athletes,” he said.
Adeoye expressed regret that his pleas for shooting to be demonstrated in Ilorin was turned down, saying that could have aroused the interest of potential world champions at the Games.
However, the retired Brigadier-General said his board would continue to search and train discovered raw talents in the game.
“We will continue to search for and train young talents in shooting sport so that the nation can become the hub of the game in the sub-region.”
He therefore, urged the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development (FMYSD) to ensure that shooting sport was not omitted in the National Sports Festival scheduled for December in Abuja.
“I urge Solomon Dalung, Minister of Sports, to consider giving opportunities to more sports, including shooting in the coming Festival in Abuja where we have one of the best shooting range.
“Most states have athletes in shooting and will be glad to compete with one another which will automatically help the nation’s success at international competitions,” he said.
Ademola Are, Director, Grassroots Sports Development, FMYSD, recently said that availability of facilities and chances of host states are considered in sport inclusion for the Games.