By Femi Atolagbe
The General Manager of Ondo State Sports Council (OSSC), Mr Henry Babatunde has charged coaches at all levels to ensure they discover new talents that would be able to take over from aging athletes.
Babatunde said it’s important for all the sports to have feeders team, saying it will be easier to replace aging athletes with the newly discovered ones.
He stated this while reacting to the inability of the state’s Volleyball team to qualify for the 21st National Sports Festival slated for Delta State.
The General Manager added that the Volleyball team remain one of the best game that always do the state proud at any competitions, saying some of the players have been aging which he said needed to be replaced with young athletes.
According to him, “as a professional and a technical person, I understand that these guys are aging , remember at Garden City in 2011, they won Gold for the state , they repeated same at Lagos 2012, Abuja 2018 and Edo 2020 ,they have been winning for these number of years.
“There is need for us to embark on proper replacement process, it ss expected of the coach to bring in new players to replace them as their aging.
That is why I have been clamouring for feeders team, either in ball game or team game, as they are aging their performance level will automatically drop, it’s natural thing in sports, you can be there all the years”.
The same team that struggled to survive relegation during their league and crashed out at South West elimination for National Sports Festival in Osun State went to Lagos and came 3rd in the second phase of their league.
He said: In sports, you win some and lose some and if your athletes are not in performance spirit, particularly if they are disturbed physiologically element of luck will move against them.”
He commended the state government for putting an end to the incessant gate locking at the council by paying the athletes allowances regularly.
Over one year arrears have been paid, in fact they have received last month salary, and this month will be paid as well.