Nigeria behind schedule in preparations for Rio 2016- Ekeji

Mr. Ekeji urged government to improve facilities for training of sportsmen and women.

Nigeria is already late in its preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the Director-General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Patrick Ekeji, has said.

Mr. Ekeji, said this at a reception hosted by the Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK, Dalhatu Tafida, on Saturday in London. The reception was held in honour of the Nigerian contingent to the 2012 London Paralympic Games.

He however appealed to the Federal Government to use the recent negative experiences at the Olympics to achieve a positive turnaround for the sports sector.

“We should use the disappointment of the able-bodied athletes at the Olympic Games and the success of the physically-challenged athletes at the Paralympics to transform the sports sector,” he said. “But, right now we need the political will to develop and transform sports.’’

Mr. Ekeji, who expressed concern over the obsolete training facilities for the physically challenged athletes, called for a total overhaul of the current facilities. He commended the Paralympians for doing the nation proud.

The Nigerian envoy, in his remarks, said the Paralympians’ performance was commendable and worth emulating.

“The uniqueness of the London Games lies in the fact that the Paralympians broke four world records when compared to the poor performance of our able-bodied athletes at the just-concluded Olympics,’’ Mr. Tafida said.

The diplomat noted that the Paralympians have always showed commitment and dedication and have never disappointed the nation at any of their competitions. He added that the feat is not only worth celebrating, but also serves as a lesson for Nigerians to look beyond their disabilities.

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