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NOC Executive Board Meeting paves way for a new beginning

The Nigeria Olympic Committee held its Executive Board Meeting in Abuja at the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) and reached important decisions to pave a better way forward for the board.

A Communique signed by the Public Relations Officer of NOC, Tony Nezianya, notes that the committee was painstaking in reaching hard decisions on crucial matters.

The committee jointly agreed with the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development that Team Nigeria will participate in various international sporting events, including the African Beach Games, the Commonwealth Youth Games in Trinidad & Tobago, and the ANOC World Beach Games in Bali, Indonesia.

According to the communique, “the committee believes that these foregoing Games would help the federations in their preparations ahead of two important Games next year – the African Games to be staged by Ghana in March 2024 and the 2024 Paris Olympic Games being hosted by France.”

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The communique also noted that with these decisions, it is evident that the NOC has loaded international programmes ahead of the Paris Games.

In between, there are many Olympic qualifying Championships to be attended to by National Sports Federations for them to make the stiff qualifying standards for the Paris Games.

Infrastructural developments

The NOC President, Engr. Habu Gumel then unveiled two major properties. The newly re-developed infrastructures are the Amuwo Odofin Olympic Village where some sporting facilities – a football pitch, Tennis, Volleyball and Basketball courts, and an Indoor hall for multi-purpose uses, where sports and cultural centre can be held under one roof. The facility also has an Athletics running tracks.

Engr. Gumel announced to the members that five hectares of land were allocated to the NOC by the Federal Capital Authority of which the NOC has taken possession of the relevant documents.

The land will house the Committee’s Permanent Secretariat and some sporting infrastructure as well as other complementing facilities. It will be fenced to protect the property.

“In order not to let the land lie fallow for a long time, the Committee has taken an opportunity offered by the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa to apply for a grant to build some essential facilities like the Secretariat,’’ Gumel said.

The committee later received the outgoing Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Sunday Dare, who used the opportunity provided by the gathering of the elite sports administrators to have a session with the Executive Board.

Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare

He praised the committee for the enduring work it had been doing to provide funding support, training grants and scholarships from the Olympic Solidarity and ANOCA.

Dare, thus highlighted some of his achievements.

I have been able to secure all approvals, making sports an industry. This means that companies that support sports will get tax exemptions. This is one crucial accomplishment that can turn around the fortunes of sports.

“We have also obtained assurances that the athletes would henceforth be fairly rewarded as they will be better prepared to win medals in major Games,’’ he said.

The former minister, then, praised the NOC for the numerous courses secured from the Olympic Solidarity through the Olympic Committee (IOC) and ANOCA in improving the skills of coaches and sports administrators.

Dare, pleaded that these be sustained.

Engr. Gumel on behalf of the Committee commended the minister over the numerous achievements including victories during the Commonwealth Games and the World Athletics Championship and the raising of funds to support the completion of the ANOCA Secretariat.

He reminded the National Federations that the last time that Team Nigeria won major medals – two gold medals from the Olympic Games was at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Gumel emphasised the need to produce exceptional athletes who should turn around the fortunes of the country by winning Gold medals at the Paris Games in 2024.

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