The Vice President, Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF), Abdullahi Saidu, has warned the participating states in the 2018 National Youth Games (NYG) not to feature any athlete above 15 years.
Saidu gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on the competition slated to hold in Ilorin, Kwara, from Sept. 7 to Sept. 17.
Are Ademola, the Director, Grassroots Sports and Development, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, had said that only athletes of 15 years and below were eligible to participate in the competition.
The 4th edition of the annual NYG is aimed at developing sports at the grassroots.
Saidu said that the advice became imperative to avoid disqualification of any state athletes that violated the game’s age requirement.
“I am sure that states must have assembled their teams for the competition, but it is also necessary to critically verify their documents to avoid facing disqualification.
“As a federation, we have done the needful by emphasising on the age directive which we expect them to comply with for the purpose of the game to be achieved,” he said.
Saidu also urged the affiliated states to find a way of rewarding victorious athletes so as to appreciate their efforts and encourage them in the sport.
The NTF board member said that the measure was necessary as it would go a long way to attract more young talents to develop their skills in taekwondo sport.
“As upcoming athletes, they need to be encouraged and good welfare package that will be useful for their categories should be considered, especially those with outstanding performance,” he added.
Saidu urged them to exhibit discipline and put in their best during the fights and be self-confident.