The African athletics championship is holding in Warri, Delta State.
The Nigeria Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi, was on Thursday the guest of Nigerian athletes at their Hotel Excel abode in Warri, Delta State, as they get set to burn the tracks in the maiden edition of the Africa Youth Athletics Championships, AYAC.
The Minster, who thanked the President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, Solomon Ogba, on the initiative to see Nigeria get the hosting right, harped on the need for the country’s representatives to exhibit a high level of discipline going into the 4-day championship.
According to the minister, talent and excellent facilities will count for less if discipline is missing in the aspiring youngsters as he traced Nigeria’s lacklustre performance at the London Olympics to indiscipline.
“The most critical factor to success in any endeavour not only sports is discipline. God forbid that you will be the generation of Nigerian athletes that will go to the Olympics and not bring a single medal,” Mr. Abdullahi remarked.
The minister gave instances of top world athletes like Michael Phelps, who have excelled in their various fields and the amount of work that had to be done before they became who they were.
According to an article read by the minister on the multiple Olympic gold winner, the American swimmer put in four hours of training everyday for five years including his birthday.
“Talent is no longer enough, sports have gone scientific and the whole world has moved on,” the minister said.
Nigeria will be represented by 64 athletes; and 26 African countries are already confirmed for the championship at the Warri Township Stadium.