By Millicent Ifeanyichukwu
Lagos – A former national taekwondo coach, Osita Egwim, says the ongoing 2nd National Youth Games (NYG) in Ilorin, Kwara, will help to revive sports at the grassroots.
Egwim told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos that the Games were necessary for talent discovery and grooming for Nigeria to produce world beaters.
“The road map to the rehabilitation of sports has started by this good initiative of the Ministry of Youths and Sports which is strictly for youths.
“We have the largest number of sports persons among the youth, hence this competition is to bring them together and identify their skills early,’’ he said.
He, however, condemned the restriction to two weight categories for the males and females in Taekwondo
NAN reports that the NYG Local Organising Committee (LOC) approved competitions in the male 48kg and 55kg and 46kg and -49kg for females.
The coach said that the restriction denied other upcoming taekwondoists whose classes were not included in the fights the opportunity to exhibit their talents.
Egwim said that it would be more appropriate for the Games LOC to follow the standard Olympic weight categories of 58kg, 68kg, 80kg, +80kg for males and 49kg, 57kg, 67kg and +67kg for females.
“The weight requirement in these Games cannot give us what it really takes to get the complete team to represent us in Africa, Commonwealth and Olympic Games.
“I think it will be good to also consider developing upcoming taekwondoists in these categories so that they can start mastering the techniques in their weight classes,’’ he said.
NAN reports that the Games organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports started on Sept. 22 and will end on Sept. 30.
NAN reports that 10 sports, Athletics, Badminton, Cricket, Para-Table Tennis, Para-Athletics, Karate, Wrestling, Judo, Taekwondo and Chess are on offer.
The competition will also feature Rowing and Yachting and Roller Skating as demonstration sports.
The first edition of the Games held in 2013 in Abuja.