The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has concluded plans for 40 junior athletes to resume camping in Abuja next week.
This was made known by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Technical Director, Samuel Onikeku during exclusive interview on Wednesday in his office in Abuja. The former Nigeria track and field international and a World Athletics Level 1 coach said the 40 junior athletes were discovered in Kaduna during the AFN All-comers Junior Athletics Championship.
“AFN first competition this year is All Comers U18 and 19 Trials in Kaduna where we selected 40 athletes that will represent Nigeria in Zambia.” He told BSN Sports.
He added, “The first thing is to give them exposure to make them become champions. We went to Kenya with 28 junior athletes and that exposure that we gave to them made 15 of them to have scholarship. And that was how Nathaniel got the scholarship to go America and was able to break the record of Prince Henry Amike record in 400m hurdle that have stood for over 20 years.
He continued, “Before we went to Kenya, the team was camped for about two months in Asaba but now the team will be camped in Abuja. We would have started the camping but we don’t want the camping to collide with Easter break. Those days when Nigeria wanted to go international Junior Competition, they just assembled them and then they fly but this time, they will be in camp, be fed, taking good care of and get allowances. All these are part of how to take care of athletes and with that they will be able to do their best.
“I can tell you that the kits for the Junior team are already secured. It’s a complete kit, from track suit to traveling bag. All these things will be given to them. And all competition that we went to, all their allowances are paid to them.” He concluded.
The U18/U20 African Athletics Championships will take place in Lusaka (Zambia) from 29th April to 3rd May 2023. Both competitions comprise the 2nd African U18 and U20 Combined championships.