The Adopt-an-athlete campaign championed by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare has recorded its first success as 25 of the talents spotted at this year’s National Youth Games have bagged full scholarships.
The Nigerian Tulip International Colleges Sports Academy (NTIC Sports Academy) in Abuja gave the 25 junior male and female athletes, who excelled at the last National Youth Games held in Ilorin, Kwara State this year, the unique opportunity to complete their secondary school education.
This was made known when nine of the athletes invited for screening visited the Minister at his office in the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja, on Friday, 25th October 2019. The junior talents were accompanied by their coaches and parents and representatives of NTIC.
The Minister praised the management of the school for rewarding the industry and talent of young athletes and their commitment to grooming their skills for the future. He said the offer of scholarships was a validation of the efforts of the Ministry to promote grassroots sports development and discover gems that will make Nigeria proud for years to come.
“Let me thank the Nigerian Tulip International Colleges for this partnership on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria and especially on behalf of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development,” the Minister said.
He went on to state that “We hope that as we go along, you will be able to do much more. There are 328 junior talents across 20 sports that were discovered during the last National Youth Games.
“This is a great step in the right direction: rewarding and encouraging the talents and industry of these future sports stars. Government alone cannot provide the all resources required to develop our sports, hence must look to private investment to make up the difference.
“I believe this move by the management of the NTIC is symbolic, patriotic and exemplary. I call on other corporate organisations, schools – whether national or international – to do likewise and join the Ministry’s Adopt-an-Athlete programme. They can reach us and we will give them the template and I believe they can still take on some of our youth. The Ministry has plans to keep them in camps and in shape.”
It will be recalled that over 4,000 young athletes from 32 states participated in 20 various sports in this year’s edition of the Nigeria Youth Games, which was the fifth in the series.
Mr Dare also announced that the return of the famous inter-school sports competitions tagged “Headmasters Cup” and “Principals Cup” for primary and secondary schools respectively. He said his Ministry will be collaborating with the Ministry of Education to stage the tournaments designed to unearth many young talents for the country to grow and nurture a new generation of athletes that will take over the older ones.
A date for the commencement and the modalities for these tournaments will be announced soon.