By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu
Patrick-Estate Onyedum, Chairman of Anambra State Sports Development Commission, has charged coaches and sports associations in the state to embark on aggressive talent discovery and development.
Onyedum gave the charge at the meeting between the management of the Commission with Coaches and Secretaries of sports associations last Friday in Awka.
He urged coaches to go to the grassroots and identify raw talents and nurture them for state and national sports meets.
The Chairman warned coaches against fielding over age athletes for any age bound competition or face serious sanction.
Onyedum who reviewed the activities in 2023 sporting year thanked the staff for the success of the school sports festival, national sports festival, national youth game and other Competitions staged during the year.
According to him, “the game of age cheat remains a no go area for us, we want to have athletes that fall within the specified age for all age group competitions because we are developing sports. What we are doing is futuristic.
“From school sports to youth games, Anambra wants to take pride as the most age-compliant state. We need as many medals as we can get but we have to earn them.
“Look at the children we took to the national youth games, almost all came from school sports, they own the future in their various sports because we are monitoring their progress”, he said.
For the sports associations in the state, Onyedum tasked them to ensure they organise one age group and one open competition as part of their mandates to grow their sports.
He said these competitions would enable them to identify talents that they would present at state and national competitions adding that failure to meet the target could deny them slots in the state team.
The chairman promised to support the association to feature in national championships and urged them to submit their proposals on time.
Also speaking, Coach Olu Sule, the Consultant to the Commission encouraged the coaches to do their job with more passion and commitment.
Olu who described coaching as one of the best jobs said nothing gives greater joy than coaches seeing their athletes soaring in their sports and mounting the podium.
“Sports is a big business, it gives money and fame and as a coach, your target should be to produce athletes that will rise to continental and world stage.
“As a management, we shall organise refresher programmes for you including secretaries to update us with new developments and technical innovations in various games”, he said.
Other speakers at the event were senior directors in the Commission including Faith Okwonna and Emeka Obodimma.
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