The Federal Government will give priority attention to long-distance races in the 2021 budget with plans to revamp two training camps in Nigeria.
Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, announced this at a virtual meeting with the coaches, the private sector and other stakeholders on Tuesday in Abuja.
“The resources we have are limited, but the ministry will leverage on what it can get.
“As we prepare the 2021 budget, I will make sure that long-distance training gets very close attention,’’ Dare said.
He has, therefore, directed coaches of long-distance races to come up with proposals for renovating the training camps in Pankshin in Plateau and Mambila in Taraba.
Emphasising the need to revive long-distance races in Nigeria, the minister mandated the coaches to scout for talents, camp current runners and develop training programmes for them.
He also directed the coaches to audit the two training camps to ascertain the extent of renovation needed to bring them up to the desired standard.
“Following from this meeting, you will put forward a proposal as a team.
“That proposal should contain what is needed to bring back the two camps.
“I am sure we can conduct an audit.
“I am sure some of you know what is needed to bring back Pankshin and Mambila training camps.
“Once we see that plan, we can now slice that plan into two or three stages.
“What is needed in the short run is to activate them quickly to start developing these talents, with the Olympics in view,’’ he said.
The minister called for detailed proposals, which should include training templates in line with international best practices.
“You are the expert in this area and I am sure that you can give us a proposal that is tight but also allows us to do something in the short term and then go-ahead to do the medium term and then the long term.
It was reported that the meeting was attended by sports stakeholders including coaches and administrators who provided insights into long-distance races and how best to improve Nigeria’s ranking.