Monday, December 29, 2008

Sports Minister Advised To Focus On Athletes

2010 commonwealth games atheletesEfforts by the minister of sports/chairman, National Sports Commission, Engr. Sani Muhammad Ndanusa to reposition and re-brand the commission, sports federations and grassroots sports development ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, 2011 All Africa Games and the 2012 London Olympic Games have been challenged by top management of NSC who believe that the new sports minister must deviate from the old system of administering sports with papers and files to meeting the coaches and athletes in the field.

Leadership sports gathered that a top management staff told the minister during a meeting with management staff of NSC that if he wants to succeed in using sports to achieve the seven-point-agenda of the federal government, he should be ready to put on the boots and jersies to meet the athletes in the field.

"When the minister meets the coaches and athletes in the field, he will understand their problems and needs. It is the athletes that will give him result and not the pseudo-experts in the NSC".

The minister was also advised at the top management meeting to strictly adhere to the commission's budget.

"Nigerians do not want to know how much was budgeted for the commission, but how the budget whether small or large is being used to achieve desired results. We must train our athletes. The commission must be seen as athlete-friendly and the grassroots sports development as well as school sports must be given direct attention. If Nigeria must excel at the next commonwealth and Olympic games, this is the time to invest in athletes development. The NSC should reposition all the 33 national sports federations to make them effective, efficient and functional in 2009.

"The athletes must be given priority by way of improved incentives, training facilities and avoidance of the "Fire brigade" approach" in preparing for competitions. Staying in the office will not do the minister any good. He has to go to the field where the measuring lines for success and failure are found," the source said.