*backs introduction of National Grassroots Sports Festival
By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
Director Grassroots Sports Development, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Dr. Ademola Are has described as a welcome development the calling for withdraw of hosting rights of the National Sports Festival (NSF) from Cross River State.
He expressed this while fielding questions from newsmen on the sidelines of the Technical Session as part of the National Council on Sports meeting at the State House, Kaduna on Tuesday.
Are said it was the right decision, judging from the negative effects delays have had on sports development in the country.
“The stakeholders move is in the right direction. One state cannot be holding the nation ransom for six years,” he said.
The Director, explained that the non hosting of the NSF has affected the fortunes of several athletes and appealed to the National Council on Sports to accept the recommendation.
On the introduction of the 1st National Grassroots Sports Festival, he expressed delight with the idea, assuring that it would further develop sports from the grassroots, since the age limit pegged for participant is U-18.
Dr. Are, was however, not too pleased with the reaction of the technical session on the proposed reduction of the age limit of the National Youth Games to U-15, from the present U-17.
Leading the debate during the session, Delta State kicked against the reduction, saying if done, the aim of the games would be defeated as those discovered would be too young to represent Nigeria at international competitions.