Chairman of the Gombe State Athletics Association, Ahmed Shuaibu-Gara Gombe, has said the use of mercenaries by states for competitions is the reason sports development has suffered setbacks in Nigeria.
The former Chairman of Gombe State Football Association who made this remark at the 1st Gara-Gombe Athletics Grand Prix held in the state capital recently said winning medals through mercenaries has proved counter-productive over the years.
“There can be no sustainable development except a development through the grassroots because this serves as the factory to produce future stars,” he said.
The Gombe athletics boss argued that the fund that states in the country spend on recruiting mercenaries for competitions is enough to invest in discovering and nurturing athletes in each state.
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“I have commenced a comprehensive talent hunt at the grassroots in Gombe State since I became chairman of the State Athletics Association and I believe the result will show in the next five years,” he reiterated.
Over 200 primary school pupils from the 11 Local Government Areas of Gombe State watched the one-day grand prix at the Gombe Stadium, Pantami and the GAA chairman said it was aimed at inspiring the pupils to embrace athletics.
According to him, the pupils will also aspire to be like the senior athletes who impressed them at the maiden athletics competition
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