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Sports Minister, Enoh, tasks Nigerian coaches to get quality training



The Minister of Sports Development, Sen. John Enoh, has called for a renewed focus on quality training and exposure for indigenous coaches to take Nigerian sports to a higher pedestal.

The minister made the call on Tuesday in Abuja when the leadership of the Sports Coaches Association of Nigeria led by its President, Gabriel Opuana, paid him a courtesy visit. 

Enoh described coaching as a critical aspect of sports development that must be given more attention in Nigeria if the country is to return to its glorious days in sports.

“There must be a conscious plan for the progress and development of our coaches because the quality of our teams in different sports is largely going to be a function of the quality of coaching.

“The sports sector is a very dynamic one with the teams increasingly and ever-changing, so you need to be up to date with your coaching,” he said.

The minister pledged the ministry’s readiness to work with relevant stakeholders to beam focus on the coaching sector to raise the standard in line with international best practices.

“The Ministry of Sports Development is going to give a lot of attention to the coaching aspect of our sports development.

“A lot of time, we pay more attention to the athletes themselves than to those who produce these athletes, those who bring out the best of these athletes.

“So it is important we re-direct our focus,” he said.

Enoh said plans were underway to reposition the National Institute for Sports (NIS), starting with exploring ways to partner with the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) in the areas of training and research.

He thanked the coaches’ association for the visit while charging them to do more as critical stakeholders in the sports eco-system.

Earlier, Opuana said the association was an umbrella body for all Nigerian coaches both within and outside the country.

He said properly trained coaches could catalyze Nigeria’s resurgence in sports.

“It is difficult to think of the future of sports in Nigeria without the active participation of qualified coaches in such a way that their dignity and integrity are acknowledged and guaranteed through access to quality education, jobs, sports amenities, and facilities,” he said.

Opuana therefore called on the minister to immediately set up a proactive committee to raise funds through the private sector for the development of sports since the government alone cannot do it.

He also stressed the need for early preparations for Nigeria to do well in the forthcoming African Games in Accra and the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Opuana said the association would continue to work with other stakeholders to create a conducive environment for sports coaches to produce top athletes for the country.


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