Coaches Groom Athletes For Calabar 2014 - P.M. News

Coaches Groom Athletes For Calabar 2014

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There are strong indications that some of the athletes who were part of the just concluded summer holiday  camping of the Adop-A-Talent Sports Programme will represent Lagos at the 2014 National Sports Festival in  Calabar, Cross River.

Athletes from 10 different sports were camped at the Nigerian Army Sports Centre, Myoung Barrack, Morocco,  Somolu, Lagos from 6-16 September. They underwent series of trainings at University of Lagos Sports Centre,  Yaba College of Technology, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, and Jalisco Sports Centre, Oshodi.

It was gathered that about 108 athletes, who were in the summer camp for 10 days, lived up to expectations in  their different sports. They were trained rigorously  to hone their skills.

Some of the coaches who spoke with P.M.News stated that the athletes will be future champions in the years to  come considering the type of training they underwent at the just concluded holiday camp.

Volleyball Chief Coach, Suraj Onatuga said the purpose of the camping is to groom athletes for future  challenges like the National Sports Festival coming up in Calabar, Cross River State.

“These athletes are future champions and many of these them will be fully integrated into Team Lagos for the  2014 Sports Festival,” said Onatuga, who was impressed with the response of the players camp.

Table Tennis Coach, Oluwole Orukotan, who is the Camp Commandant, said that the athletes responded well to  their coaches’ instructions and believes  that by 2014, they will be matured enough to represent the state in   both national and international competitions.

“There is no doubt that some of these athletes would begin to represent the state in some national  competitions. The essence of this programme is to train these athletes for them to become stars in the nearer  future,” he said.

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Athletics coach, Uruemu Adu said he was surprised by the response of the athletes in camp, adding that some  of them were selected to participate in the All Comers Athletics Championship, which was organised by the  Lagos State Ministry of Sports to  prepare the state’s athletes for Eko 2012 National Sports Festival.

He said he will not be surprised if  officials select some of them to represent the state in this year’s  Sports Festival and more importantly the 2014 Games in Calabar.

Commenting on the gains of the camping, Giwa Jimoh, a 15-year old table tennis player said the camping was  quite interesting and challenging, adding that he was able to learn basic and modern things about the ping  pong game from the coaches.

“The camping was a good one for me and other athletes in camp. I want to thank our coaches for working round  the clock to get the best out of us. During my stay in camp, I learned how discipline and endurance can bring  the best out of an athlete,” he said.

Kehinde Adeoye, a 17 years old basketball player, expressed gratitude to God for being part of the camping.  Adeoye said that the camping gave athletes from different sports to come together under one roof. Like Oliver  Twist, Adeoye wants more camping from the Management Committee of the programme whenever schools are on  holiday.

“The 10 days camping was a good experience for me. I really learned fast during the camping and I believe  that what I learned I cannot forget it as this will help me in my career,” he said.

To Mrs. Olusola Onamade, whose son, Ayomipo, is a Karateka, the Lagos State government deserved a  commendation with what was provided for the athletes in the camp. Mrs. Onamade, a former Karateka, who  represented Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU at the NUGA and West Africa University Games, WAUG, during her  school days, the athletes would gain a lot in the programme.

—SUNDAY AKINTOYE