Lagos- A Lagos-based wrestler, Ikechukwu Orji, has called on authorities to ensure availability of funds for competitions even before inviting athletes to begin preparations.
He spoke against the backdrop of past disappointments when athletes are asked to go home as funds were not secured to sponsor a competition; this sometimes happen after they had been made to go through intensive preparations.
Orji told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos that if they were dispersed at last minutes like that, such situations were discouraging.
He said they would need to be encouraged to go all out if they know in good time about state of funding as this could affect their state of mind.
The coach said that athletes were always usually pressured to win at the end at competitions, but sometimes not provided all the enabling facilities to succeed.
“Athletes are committed to their training because they want to win; so it is the responsibility of organisers and hosts of the championships to ensure that everything is in order.
“The assurance that they will attend competitions after preparing go a long way in bringing out the best in them. There is need to good transportation to and fro competition venues, good feeding and accommodation.
“The athletes ought to be dully informed of availability of the basics, including their due allowances while preparing for competitions,’’ he said.
The 75kg silver medalist at the 2014 Ibile games, held in Lagos solicited for regular competitions to promote the sport and improve the skills of the wrestlers in the country.
According to him, some wrestlers have yet to be exposed to competitions since the beginning of the year. “there has not been competitions since this year’’..
“This is frustrating the effort of some of us training to compete and improve on our records in competitions at various levels’’. (NAN)