The Ministerof Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has tasked the Nigeria Team forthe Abuja 2020 Para-Powerlifting World Cup to focus on making the country proudand avoid all distractions. He said this Tuesday, when he visited the team atthe camp at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
The Ministerexpressed commitment to athletes welfare and said he will not allow thepolitics of sports stop him from giving the most important stakeholders –athletes – the best government can offer.
The Ministeralso said he was not unaware of the immediate and remote challenges faced byNigerian athletes but is ready to shield them from the effects.
Mr. Daretook the time to explain the Ministry’s ‘Adopt-an-Athelete’ programme, which hesaid is designed to connect individual athletes to corporate institutions andprivate individuals for sponsorship of the athletes’ training.
“Once thelink is done, you will be connected to the person or company and the moneycomes directly to you. It doesn’t come to the Ministry or anyone else.
“The FederalMinistry of Youth and Sports has a responsibility to you and no Federation orPresident of any Federation is bigger than the Ministry,” he continued.
“TheMinistry takes the lead and that has been the rule. I am not going to changeit. The Ministry is the government and we have your best interest at heart. Nomatter whatever else is happening, ultimately the Ministry is responsible foryou.
“I want to thankyou sincerely for your service and sacrifice. Whatever has happened, let’s putit all behind us and do Nigeria proud.”
He promisedthe team bonuses for qualifying to represent Nigeria and for winning medals.
ThePara-Powerlifting World Cup competitions kick off on Wednesday in Abuja.Nigeria is presenting two teams, Senior and Junior categories. The teams havemany world record holders and are expected to pick up many medals at thetournament.