West African swimmers to gather in Ondo for championship

The swimming federation believes it has the potential to qualify for the Rio Olympics


The Nigeria Swimming Federation is set to organise the first West African swimming championship, a coach of the Federation, Saheed Obadina, told PREMIUM TIMES.

The competition is expected hold between November 7 and 10 at the Olympics standard swimming pool of the Akure stadium, in Ondo State. The competition is sponsored by the Ondo State Government; while the arrival date for the sub-continental swimmers is November 6.

“We are expecting about 16 countries, but so far 10 of them have been registered,” Mr. Obadina said. “The tournament has two categories, U-14 and above 14 years old.”

He stated further that: ‘This is the first of its kind in West Africa. It’s a sort of developmental programme towards the Olympics. We are appealing to the government, if we are able to start early preparations we will make the Olympics.”

While talking about the challenges the federation is having, Mr. Obadina said: “We need good facilities and competitions especially funds from the government.”

The swimming coach said Nigeria does not have enough standard swimming pools while majority of the existing swimming pools were not well treated.

“We have more than 10 swimming pools in Nigeria. One in Lagos and it’s been really bad since 1999.”

The coach said there were many international competitions that Nigerian swimmers could attend in order to be competitive with their other African and World counterparts.

“If we attend them regularly, we will develop and determine who the good swimmers really are.

“Nigeria, with regular participation in international completions, will qualify for the next edition of the Olympics in Brazil’ the coach said.

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