The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, has said that the ministry will adopt more scientific and digital means of identifying age cheats at the National Youth Games in the future and mete out appropriate stiff penalties to the offending athletes and states.
The Minister said this on Tuesday, October 19, in Ilorin, while declaring close the 6th National Youth Games (NYG).
“We will consider the NIMC registration as a requirement going forward. There will be a need for all athletes to have NIMC registration before they can participate henceforth.
“As this database will now require one to input their national identity number before the athlete can be registered successfully.
“This measure is needed to avoid losing out on a possible potential medalist being screened out as over-aged while they are not”, the minister said.
Sunday Dare said this approach will in turn prevent the overaged athletes to be easily identified and screened out in order not to deny qualified athletes a future in their chosen sports.
He described the games as an awesome time of competition, bonding, making friends, building intimacy and developing healthy rivalries, Nigeria’s best young talents were brought together under a platform to do what they love the most.
Sunday Dare explained that medals may have been won and lost but the reality is that every young talent represented here was a winner; whether they had a medal around their necks or not.
“This edition of the National Youth Games has been an eye-opener to all; as we saw the abundance of talents and potentials in our beloved country.
“Let me highlight the youngest athletes at these games, 9-year-old Gift Torhile from the FCT; and 10-year old Wilson Bright from Delta.
“Some of the outstanding gymnasts like Obiefuna Munachi, the 13-year old from FCT; and Mustapha Oriyomi, another 13-year old from Delta.
“Then the amazing talents in weightlifting, like Florence Olarinoye from Lagos; Victory Okundia from Edo; and Marvelous Chidirim from FCT “, Dare said.