Nigerian Minister reassures on country preparations for All African Games - Maputo 2011

Submitted by Motunde Smith … on 16 March 2011 - 11:46am

Nigeria's Sports Minister, Professor Taoheed Adedoja has reassured the country that the preparations for the 10th All-Africa Games to be held in Maputo, Mozambique from September 3 - 18, 2011 is on the right track.

Prof. Adedoja, who is also the National Sports Commission (NSC) Chairman, told journalists in Abuja on Tuesday that Nigerians should be rest assured that the Commission was preparing Team Nigeria adequately for the games.

"Preparations for the All-Africa Games (AAG) is an on-going exercise. It is continuous and camping of athletes is just one aspect of it," said Adedoja.

"So, if we don't have all athletes in camp for the games at the moment, Nigerians should not be alarmed. We are really preparing.

"Camping is only an aspect of preparations, there are other very important aspects, such as the exposure of athletes to various competitions both home and abroad.

"This helps to keep them busy through competitions, not just being kept in camps. The point is that our athletes are currently busy in many competitions across the world.

"For example, our paralympic athletes are in Dubai for a competition and they have been doing well and setting new records."

"This, I can confidently inform, is part of their preparations not only for the AAG but the 2012 Olympics in London," he added.

Adedoja also noted that various sports federations whose athletes would be representing Nigeria in Mozambique had been staging various local competitions while also sending them to international competitions.

He said: "Sports federations like volleyball, swimming, chess, cricket, special sports, football, athletics, boxing and others, have been involving their athletes in various local and international competitions home and abroad.

"These are all part of the athletes' preparations and they give them good exposure. So, we are not just relying on keeping the athletes in camps.

"Camping cannot be more relevant than the exposure they get from international competitions."

Nigeria is set to participate in the games with about 800 athletes and officials in 24 sports.

[Additional reports from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)]