The need to have regular local competitions is necessary to keep the athletes in their top form. This will also keep them busy away from societal vices.
This was the submission of one of Team Lagos cyclists, Isiaka Ibrahim who won two medals at the Asaba 2023 National Youth Games Games.
Ibrahim, a student at the Government Junior College, Ikoyi, Lagos won a gold medal in the Point Race on Thursday. He had earlier won a silver medal in the Individual Time Trial.
While Ibrahim was so excited winning the gold and silver medals for Team Lagos, he wanted the sports authorities at both the state and national levels to organise more competitions to keep the athletes busy, as lack of regular competitions slow down the development of the athletes in their choosing sports.
He craved the indulgence of the Federal Ministry of Sports Development, which initiated the National Youth Games, to design follow up competitions for athletes discovered from the Games.
“We cannot demand for more at this stage if not for any other thing but to keep the athletes busy and in good form. When there is no competition, the form of these athletes would definitely go down. I want to beg the Federal Government of Nigeria to channel resources into exposing athletes from the National Youth Games to more local and international competitions,” Ibrahim said.
He gave kudos to what the Lagos State Government is doing for sports in the state, adding that the officials in Lagos Sports know their job and they take the welfare of the athletes serious.
“We have good training before traveling down to Asaba and this is what helped most of us at the National Youth Games,” he said.
Head Cycling Coach in Lagos, Lukman Oyebola also corroborated Ibrahim that more competitions are needed to give these young athletes future in sports.
He said if there could attention for Ibraheem, who had proven beyond reasonable doubt to be a good cyclist, the country would be better for it in the nearest future.
“Ibraheem is just going to 14 and the potential in him is great. I have no doubt that he would win gold in Asaba because he performed very well in tournaments we went to in Ibadan and Ogun State recently,” Coach Oyebola said.