Abuja – The Ministry of Youths and Sports on Monday in Abuja assured the government and people of Japan of Federal Government’s support in enhancing the capacity of Nigerian coaches and athletes.
The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Chinyeaka Ohaa, gave the assurance when he received coach Shuichi Mizuno of the Japanese Volleyball Association (JOA).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mizuno was accompanied on the visit by Hideki Sakamoto, the Deputy Head of Political/General Affairs Section of the Embassy of Japan.
Mizuno is in Abuja to conduct an eight-day training for Nigerian coaches, as part of an assistance from the Japanese Olympic Committee to the Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF).
Ohaa said Federal Government was ready to help Japan in its magnanimous efforts of giving Nigerians the best.
“We are ready to help you in giving our people the best, and we are grateful for your efforts so far in this area,’’ he said.
The Permanent Secretary, who praised the Japanese for their industry and integrity, which he said was the high point of the present administration, said the Nigerian government was pleased with Japan.
“It is our pleasure to work and interface with the Japanese government, and we are humbled by this new form of assistance.
“Our friendship should therefore continue and we are ready to play our part.
“We even believe that our partnership should go beyond volleyball and the other sports, and that it should go further to developing the Nigerian youths,’’ he said.
Speaking earlier, Sakamoto said the Embassy of Japan was well pleased to have Mizuno, as well as contribute to his stay and programme.
“It is part of the Japanese government’s efforts towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, especially in ensuring that all preparations towards the event are put in the right perspective,’’ he said.
Mizuno, on his part, had earlier assured that he was going to give his best in the course of the training programme, which was formally billed to begin on Tuesday.
The coach, who is the Assistant Coach of the Japanese women’s national volleyball coach, said he was going to ensure that NVBF and its coaches gained a lot from the programme.
“I have been sent here by the Olympic Committee and JOA as part of Japan’s `Sports for tomorrow’ programme, and I will ensure that their intentions for Nigeria are well utilised through this course,’’ he said.
Earlier, while presenting Mizuno to the Permanent Secretary, the NVBF President, Habu Gumel, had said Mizuno was a well-renowned coach and Nigerain coaches would benefit immensely from his presence.
“He is a well-renowned coach with JOA, and he has come after we sought help from the Japanese Olympic Committee.
“They had earlier trained two of our coaches for three months, one from Plateau and the other from Rivers. Now, the two coaches are going back for 18 months.
“We believe our coaches stand a good chance of learning so much from him,’’ Gumel, who was represented by Tony Oghuma-Eghimai, the Federation’s Technical Director, said.
NAN reports that Mizuno will conduct the training for Nigerian coaches from Tuesday to Feb. 22 in Abuja.(NAN)