The leadership of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria has commended the close to 1,000 athletes that showed up at the just concluded 2015 Dr. D. K. Olukoya National Youth and Junior Athletics Championships held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos over the weekend.
In separate interviews with PREMIUM TIMES, the Federation’s President, Solomon Ogba, as well as the Technical Director of the Federation, Omatseye Nesiama, a Navy commodore, said they were impressed with the display of the youngsters on parade while also expressing appreciation to the sponsor, the General Overseer of the Mountain of Fire Ministries, D. K. Olukoya.
“Of course we are grateful to Dr. D.K. Olukoya for his support for athletics in this country particularly for the juniors and youth who are the foundation. With what we have seen at this edition we are sure of getting new legs that will replace the ageing ones,” the AFN boss said.
On his part, the AFN Technical director said he was amazed at the growing level of enthusiasm being exhibited by youngsters yearly to start a career in athletics and also hoped other corporate bodies and well-meaning individuals will take a cue from the MFM General Overseer to lend support to sports in the country.
“I think the level of awareness has grown now; parents are beginning to identify with what we seek to achieve in the AFN and they are releasing their wards for competitions like this, I must confess that I am highly impressed with the times posted by some of this new athletes, with more training, I am sure they will get better,” Mr. Omatseye posited.
Meanwhile, the AFN Technical director told PREMIUM TIMES that about 30 athletes would be selected from the lot that participated in the D.K Olukoya Meet for immediate camping ahead of the fast approaching Africa Junior Championships billed for Ethiopia.
Mr. Omatseye said he was confident that the compact squad that will be selected by the AFN Coaches will go on to represent Nigeria well as this year’s AJC.
The Africa Junior Championships will be staged in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from March 4 to 8 2015.