…As SWAN frowns at age cheat
By Femi Atolagbe
Ondo State has returned from the 7th National Youth Games NYG with 14 medals and ends the competition 16th on the medals table with two Gold, three Silver and Nine bronze.
While the host State, Delta, retained their first position with 51 gold, 34 silver and 31 bronze medals, it was followed by Lagos state with 21 gold, 19 silver and 21 bronze medals, Edo occupied third position with 21 gold, 15 Silver and 21 bronze and Bayelsa state settled for fourth with 20 gold, seven silver and 16 bronze medals.
Kwara, Ogun and Oyo States won a total of 36, 32 and 17 medals to sit on fifth, Sixth and 12th positions respectively.
The General Manager of Ondo State Sports Council, Mr Henry Babatunde, in a chat with Sporting Hope, said the purpose of the national youth fiesta was not to win at all cost, but primarily to discover budding talents for states and the country at large.
Babatunde said the event was characterized by age cheat, triggered by winning by all means either legitimate or illegitimate.
“If care is not taken, age cheating may defeat the purpose of organising the competition.”
Meanwhile, the Sports Writers Association Of Nigeria (SWAN), said it observed with concern, issues/incidences of age cheat in the NYG which affected the objectives of the game negatively.
The association enjoined the organisers to impress on coaches to only field athletes that are U-15 at NYG.
This was contained in a Communique issued at the end their national convention held at Cyson hotel, Asaba Delta state during the 7th national Youth Games.
The Sports writers called for the review of awarding medals and monetary rewards to winners which is largely responsible for the desperation by States and their coaches to win by any and every means.
They recommended that the Federal Government should harvest discovered athletes at NYG and groom them for sustenance of their progress.
It also called for a more objective officiating by umpires to forestall future displeasure by competing and not to demoralise genuine competitors
SWAN called for hybrid screening process with biometrics and NIN as