An Ogun Para-athletics Coach, Ibrahim Showunmi, has urged athletes in the country to sustain their training, even though there was uncertainty about the date of 19th National Sports Festival (NSF).
Showunmi, who made the call when he spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos, said that regular training would enable athletes to be adequately prepared for competitions.
The festival, a biennial multi-sports event, is organised by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports for athletes across the nation.
The Games programmed to hold every two years also serves as a developmental event to aid athletes to prepare for continental and international meets.
“It’s rather regrettable that our national Games that have made most of our notable athletes have lost its value and the painful thing is that we are the ones suffering it.
“Be that as it may, some athletes have lost interest in the festival; they no longer go for training which is not good for their career.
“They need to be consistent with their training so as to be acquainted with current rules and techniques of their sport they are involved in.
“The advantage of regular trainings is that it will allow athletes to meet the minimum programme required to cover when the date for the festival is eventually announced,’’ he said.
Showunmi appealed to state sports councils to support athletes and their trainers.
“It is important for states to support their athletes with allowances to boost training,’’ he added.
The 18th NSF was hosted by the Lagos State Government in 2012 after which the Cross River State Government won the hosting right for the 19th edition scheduled for 2014.
The festival was postponed to 2016 due to what the organisers ascribed to unforeseen circumstances.
Meanwhile, uncertainty has continued to trail the Games as no official date has been fixed.