11th September, 2012
One Insshin-Ryu Muay Thai karate and kickboxing tutor, Supol Martins Gabriel has bemoaned the dwindling fortunes of combat sports in Nigeria.
He has however called on the National Sports Commission, NSC, to go back to the primary and secondary schools to discover budding talents that would become world champions in the future.
Supol Gabriel said that Nigeria is blessed with promising combat athletes, but the failure of the NSC to retire aging athletes and discover new ones, has been the bane of the sports.
He stated that he had taken some of the kids in his academy to different karate and kick boxing competitions with their counterparts and the potentials he saw in the kids marveled him.
In his words “Nigeria is blessed with a lot of promising athletes, especially in combat sports like karate, kickboxing, taekwondo, boxing and others, but the bulk stops on the desk of the NSC and concerned sporting federations, I believe if the federations can take the combat sports to schools they would find pupils, who may develop interest in the sport, that way we will be training world champions”.
Continuing he charged the NSC to have a scouting department and create sports training centers across the country. He noted that if the scouting department is very effective it would help discover and keep close watch on any aspiring athlete.
“I won’t lie to you I’m not surprised with the failure of Team Nigeria to the recently concluded Olympic Games because it was clear that they were going on a jamboree. The preparation to the Games was very poor, our results was our inputs, serious countries prepare well ahead of international competitions, but same cannot be said of Nigeria, that adopted the usual fire brigade approach for competitions”.
While admonishing the NSC for the London 2012 Olympic Games, he advised them to start preparations ahead of the Brazil 2016 Olympic Games by spotting budding talents at the fast approaching National Sports Festival billed for Lagos State later this year.