The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Nigeria Sports Development Fund Incorporated (NSDFI) and the Ondo State Government to establish the first of Six National Athletics Development Centre (NADC) in Nigeria.
President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Hon. Ibrahim Shehu Gusau signed the MoU on behalf of the Federation.
Ondo State Youth and Sports Commissioner, Hon. Saka Yusuf Ogunleye signed on behalf of the state government while the Director-General of the NSDFI, Olajide Fashikun also appended his signature to the contract papers.
Hon. Gusau said: "This partnership will help us reposition sports in the country. We are keen on producing the next generation of Olympics medallists for the nation by taking youths off the streets."
Hon. Ogunleye stated that Ondo State Government aims to revive sports in the state, and will be naming the six communities to benefit from the new grassroots sport initiative with the aim of also generating funds for the state if the sector is properly managed.
Ogunleye further disclosed that the state government will soon establish a Sports Academy in the state and that a site has already been identified by the government for the project while calling on other states in the country to emulate the Sunshine state in paying more attention to sports development in their locality.
Olajide Fashikun, the DG of the NSDFI, disclosed that the project will produce the next generation of Olympic medallists for the nation in the next few years.
According to him: "All hands are on deck to give 90 athletes from five different sports Olympic grants of N10 million each to prepare for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics from February 2018.
"It will be an unprecedented gesture in the country that will spur the athletes to adequately prepare for the Olympics," he added.
Executive Director (Technical) of NSDFI, Chief Mary Onyali promised that the future of athletics is bright in the country.
Also present at the ceremony was the Zonal Director of Leadway Assurance Plc, Mr Allan Onifade.
His company will be providing insurance for all amateur athletes in the five sports featuring on the NSDFI programme. From the 2019 season, all sports federations and amateur athletes in the nation will enjoy the cover.
*(Photo credit: Gong News)*