NEWS

Dare draws fresh plans for Tokyo 2020

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Our Reporter

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare has assured that the ministry was monitoring the fitness of its athletes ahead of Tokyo Olympics due to  COVID-19.

In a release yesterday, Dare was quoted as saying inter alia: “The Nigerian authorities through the Sports Ministry called off the National Sports Festival as precautionary measure to curb the spread of COVID-19.  This means several of our athletes overseas can no longer practice because the sporting facilities were shut down.

“We are in touch with each one of them through a database to monitor their plans and to understand   the kind of Support they need. Despite the postponement, the Adopt-an-Athlete plan is on-going and the funds are going to the athletes.

So we are happy that those funds can help them at this period when they cannot make money from competitions.

“They are free to leverage on that; they can also look for indoor facilities where they can practice. They can pay to use those facilities, so there’s a continuous engagement with our athletes.”

The Minister further said that Nigeria as earlier decided would compete in 11 sports at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics that will be hosted next year, even as funds would be released for pending qualifiers which the athletes can attend as soon as the virus is stemmed. He urged them not to relent in their training even as the ministry will continue to strategize.

Dare said: “As we speak, in another two days, 33 of the athletes – both foreign and home-based – are completing a video message to lend their voices to the awareness campaign including myself. It’s being produced as we speak.

“Our athletes from across the world and the home-based will be giving out messages of encouragement.

We will be prepared whenever the Olympics will hold. What is of utmost urgency right now is to ensure that COVID-19’s spread is contained so we can all be free again.”

…Felicitates with Tinubu at 68

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare has described Senator Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as a true leader who stands out among the rest; as he paid glowing tribute to the former Lagos State Governor on his 68th birthday.

The formal celebration was suspended due to the outbreak of COVID-19 scourge.

“Nigeria has in Asiwaju Tinubu a leader who has earned his stripes with his clear political vision, fierce commitment to the masses and unmatched political guts,” noted Dare. “Nigeria, states, individuals and many have benefited from his political vision, connections and exploits.

“On his birthday he deserves more than praise. He deserves recognition, validation and celebration. I wish him a happy birthday and many more years of service to Nigeria and humanity. Asiwaju, rest not because the harvest is still plentiful; there is more work for you,” he added.

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