By Uzor Odigbo
As AthIetics begins, ex-internationals that operate Young talents academy-outfits have arrayed themselves to woo best performing young Athletes at the ongoing Youth Games in Asaba.
Coach Mutiu, aka. tuke-tuke Confirmed this while analysing the contributions of ex-athletes in the discovery and development of young talents most of whom are competing for various states at the Youth Games.
He stated that, unknown to many, AthIetics Academies operated by ex-athletes abroad had contributed over 80 per cent of young athletes in this competition over the years
He said what most states does is to gather these AthIetes and camp them during competitions like this.
“l can name five Athletics Academies that usually contributes AthIetes for major competitions.
They include former 400m runner, Princess Mabel Madojiemu Academy and foundation that used to organised grassroots competitions every year in Edo State,
Friday Enoye’s year AthIetics classics competitions for the discovery of young talents holds every year. The most recent one is the Gara Gombe AthIetics Academy that is currently representing the state at this National Youth Games and many more”.
He avarred that the contributions of this patriotic former AthIetes should be applauded.
Another Nigerian with huge contributions to the development, discovery of young AthIetes is Ernest Ijeoma of the international Secondary School inside the University of Lagos, (Unilag).
Coach Ijeoma’s academy contributed about eight junior AthIetes to Lagos contingent to the Youth Games in Asaba.
The Imo state born coach also handles children of ex-athletes who followed their parents footsteps.
Ijeoma said, former AthIetes have contributed immensely to the discovery of young talents through their yearly grassroots Competitions and supply of various training materials such as spike shoes, T-shirts, scholarships, canvass and on many occasions, cash for sundry purchases.