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Why Athelets of Hope Championship will hold at old Parade ground- Alim

The Athletes of Hope is a grassroots sports initiative of the FCT administration which is targeted at bringing together all secondary schools in the territory…

The Athletes of Hope is a grassroots sports initiative of the FCT administration which is targeted at bringing together all secondary schools in the territory to compete in athletics so that students with exceptional abilities in athletics could be identified and nurtured to represent the FCT and Nigeria in future.

Speaking to Trustsports, the director of sports said during last year’s championship, it was discovered that the performances of the young athletes was hampered by the artificial surface at the Abuja national stadium because most  of them who are not yet used to spike shoes could not run effectively on the tartan track.

 “At the last edition of the championship which held at the Abuja national stadium, we discovered that most of the athletes could not make use of the tartan track. It affected their performances because they were not used to it. Mostly affected were athletes who competed bare footed”.

He said it is for this reason that the organizers have decided to stage this year’s edition at the Abuja Old parade ground where the athletes would make use of the surface that they are used to just as he disclosed that it is only after the championship that athletes selected would be taken to the Abuja national stadium for them to learn how to make use of tartan track.

Alim said it is not lack of money that has taken the championship to the old parade ground sports complex just as he disclosed that even when the last edition was staged at the national stadium, the organizers did not pay money as what was paid for was the cleaning of the main bowl after the event.

He maintained that if the organizers of the event want to make use of the stadium, it would not take them a day to get the approval because the present minister who is highly supportive of such developmental programmes would not hesitate to give his consent.

“We don’t need to pay three million naira to use the stadium. If we want to use the place, it will not take us a day to get approval. The present minister of sports who is fully behind the programme would ensure that approval is given without delay” he elucidated.

Alim further disclosed that at least two hundred post primary institutions in the FCT have picked forms to field their students in the athletics championship and the number of athletes who would compete in this year’s championship which begins on Wednesday June 23 would not be less than five thousand students.

The FCT director of sports expressed optimism that in the next three years, the championship will become a national event where it would hopefully grow to become a continental championship latest 2014 in line with the vision of its initiators.