Lagos- An international certified weightlifting referee, Reginald Briggs, on Friday said that selection of the nation’s representatives at international tournaments should be based on athlete’s current performance as against past record.
Briggs told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone that the reason was to provide an enabling environment for individual athletes to prove their abilities for selection.
“Opportunities should be thrown open for athletes to prove their worth at open trials whenever the nation is preparing for international competitions rather than invite a particular group of individuals.
“It is inappropriate to give preference to few athletes based on their past performances to take part in trials because they might have lost form with trends.
“ Some champions sit on their position without making effort to improve their current form, this is the reason some of them get defeated by younger athletes at competitions,’’ he said.
He said that it was important for sports federations to use such available competitions to expose athletes identified at grassroots and national championships.
“Exposure is good for upcoming athletes and this should be encouraged in the country before moving outside where they will contend with other foreign athletes,’’ he said.
Briggs, who is also the head coach of the River State Weightlifting Association, urged coaches of young athletes, to give them necessary support by building their confidence towards success.
According to him, words of encouragement a young athlete gets from his/her coach, inspires the athlete.
“ I trust you, you can make it and don’t entertain fears, usually inspire athlete,’’ Briggs said.
He said that with such process, favouritism and sentiments for selection of athletes would be eliminated. (NAN)