…Says ministry yet to refund him money spent bankrolling camping, tournaments
From ROMANUS UGWU, Abuja
The president of Nigeria Weightlifting Federation (NWF), Chibudom Nwuche, has urged the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to do more in the area of the welfare of athletes preparing for international tournaments.
Nwuche expressed disappointment over the neglect of athletes insisting that it must stop.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja recently, the former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives pointed out that the idea of many officials dominating the delegation of contingents for continental and international tournaments should be stopped.
He lamented that the Ministry was yet to refund him all the funds he used in bankrolling the camping and participation of the federation’s athletes.
Asked if he still part of the federation, he said: “Unfortunately, sports is poorly funded and many of us that devoted our time and fund to support the federation got disappointment in return. We bankrolled the camping and tournaments for the athletes.
“We have not been refunded. Although that is beside the point, most importantly, the authorities concerned don’t devote funds for preparations of athletes for tournaments.
“If we send athletes to go and compete without preparation, they will fail. I made the point very clear before the Rio Olympics and still stand by it because we all saw the result we got. We need to prepare our athletes by focusing on their training, camping and welfare.
“We have to reduce officials traveling with them. The idea of having a delegation of three athletes with 20 officials means it is a jamboree. I believe that sports must be reformed and more attention devoted to the athletes and less to the officials.
“It is not right to say that I have been frustrated out of the sports federation because I am still there on advisory capacity. I will be very active until my tenure expires very soon. I am not always on ground because I have a secretary who runs the day to day affairs. Don’t forget that my position is ceremonial as the president,” he said.