Kids from orphanage are being trained for Rio Olympics.
The Nigerian Gymnastics Federation in conjunction with Tony International Gymnastics club, an affiliate and the only recognised club of the Federation, has proposed a tournament for talented children between ages 4-10 on December 8.
This, officials say, will allow the club to discover raw talents on time and to also know which ones they would give full attention prior to the 2016 Olympics.
While speaking to PREMIUM TIMES, the Gymnastics Coach, Anthony Asuquo, said: “Just like a school system, the children will graduate from one level to the other. We want to regulate the system of gymnastics and make sure they get to level 16 which is the highest in Gymnastics before the next olympics.”
“Right now, we are already on level 4 unlike last year where we were on level 3; and we plan to move higher till we attain level 16,” he added.
Speaking about the prospects of gymnastics being a medal prospect for Nigeria, the coach said “well there’s nothing going on and that’s why we are trying to make it work.”
He explained that the club was working with children from the orphanages from whom they plan to get good gymnasts.
“We have good gymnasts in Nigeria but where are they today? Sport ministry should provide scholarships for gymnasts then they know they have to do the job,” he said.
Talking about coaches level system, Asuquo said the federation “should call coaches together, (and) invite expatriate to lecture them.”
He advised the federation to start camping for Olympics 2016 now, provide the gymnasts all they need, and allow then go to school. He said these would allow them go for international championships in Africa and the rest of the world.
“We have about 40 gymnastics coach in Nigeria but the federation only send 2 selected to senegal and when they got back they didn’t do anything, no job, no gymnasts to be trained.
“Its really sad,” he said.