COVID-19: Ministry  monitoring   Athletes – Dare

COVID-19: Ministry  monitoring   Athletes – Dare

Sunday, March 29, 2020 2:11 pm

Sunday Dare


Despite the postponement   of the National Sports Festival and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics due to the outbreak of Covid-19 , the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, has assured  that the ministry was monitoring  the athletes.
According  to him: “The Nigerian authorities through the Sports Ministry called off the National Sports Festival as precautionary  measure to curb the spread of covid-19. This means several of our athletes overseas can no longer  practice  because the sporting facilities were shut down.
“We are   in touch with each one of them through   a database to monitor   their plans and  to understand   the kind of  support they need.
” Despite the postponement,the Adopt-an-Athlete plan is on going and the funds are going to them. So we are happy that those funds can help them at this period when  they cannot make money from competitions.
“They are free to leverage on that; they can also look for indoor facilities where they can practice. They can pay to use those facilities, so there’s a continuous engagement with our athletes.”
The Minister insisted  Nigeria  would stick to 11 sports for the Olympics as earlier decided, even  as  funds would   be released for pending qualifiers which the athletes can attend  as soon as the virus is stemmed. He urged them not  to relent in their  training  , even as the Ministry will continue to plan and strategise.
  Dare said: “As we speak, in another two days, 33 of the athletes – both foreign and home-based  – are completing a video message to lend  their voices to the awareness campaign including myself. It’s being produced as we speak. Our athletes from across the world and the  home-based will  be giving out messages of encouragement.    We will be prepared whenever the Olympics will hold. What is of the utmost urgency right now is to  ensure that COVID-19’s spread is contained so we can  all be   free again.”


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