By Amaechi Agbo
The Director of FCT Sports, Mrs Dilichukwu Onyedinma has explained why the Federal Capital Territory delayed in rewarding the athletes who represented the FCT at the National Youth Games held at University of Ilorin, Kwara State, last year.
Speaking to journalist, the director said the delay was due to paucity of fund and the need to plan a beffiting ceremony for the athletes who did the FCT proud during the games held in September.
According to her “The delay was as a result of our taking time to plan for it. The important thing is for it to come; it is not when it came. It is even better now that we want to go for another NYG so that the children will know that this is part of our preparations for them to entre another youth game.
“Whether we did it immediately after the games last year or we are doing it now, I think the important thing is that the children have been recognized and encouraged,” she said
The former Nigeria Women Football League boss also said that her council is always in touch with the athletes at all times adding that the 2016 athletes who represented the FCT at the 2nd edition of the NYG were not rewarded not because they did not perform very well but due to change in government at the Sports Council and time of transition.
“We are working with the athletes who are still within the age brackets but we are also discovering new ones and blending them with the old ones. Whenever we go for national or international events, we always do our trials. Of course we need new ones to replace the old ones especially ones that have passed the required age limit.
“We had a lot of changes in government in 2016; so when there are changes in government, people would first settle down than jumping into programmes. The transition at that time did not allow us to get something done for the 2016 athletes.
“it was not because they did not perom very well. It was because of the change in government and the transitional period,” she said.
FCT contingents to the National Youth Games, Ilorin 2017 won a total of 14 medals: 4 gold, 3 silver and 7 bronze to place 11 on the medals table.