Barrister Solomon Dalung has charged athletes taking part in the 4th National Youth Games to compete clean and fair in the interest of the game and their future.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development gave the charge at the opening ceremony of the 4th edition which is aimed at identifying young talents and nurturing them to stardom.
He urged the athletes to desist from taking the easy way out through the use of drugs warning that the consequences were grave.
“I must however sound a note of caution to our budding athletes that there is no shortcut to success. Athletes who turned out to be world beaters have done so through hard work.
Those who cut corners by embracing performance enhancing substances invariably ended up being disgraced thereby bringing shame to their families and countries.
He encouraged competing athletes to choose the path of hard work in their quest to bring honour to themselves, families and country.
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“This warning cannot be overemphasized. Avoid the use of drugs to achieve podium performance because any athlete who needs drugs to be stronger, run faster and jump higher is only preparing for a mighty crash.”
Dalung said one of the major policy thrusts of the President Muhammadu Buhari led Administration is the empowerment of the country’s teeming youth to maximize their potentials through various means.
“Sports takes a cardinal position in this regard by creating employment and career opportunities as well as being a strong and binding force for national unity, cohesion and youth mobilization.
“There is no doubt that Sports in Nigeria has grown tremendously and contributed in no small measure to the socio-economic growth and national unity of the country.
However this has only been possible because of the enabling environment created by President Muhammadu Buhari through his unprecedented support for the development of sports in particular and the youth of the country in general.”
The Minister thanked the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin Prof. Suleman Abdulkareem for providing the facilities for hosting the games since its inception.
He reiterated the ministry’s unwavering effort to ensure a stronger partnership in future.
Over 3800 athletes from 33 states are taking part in the 10-day games featuring Roller skating as a demonstration event.