Athletes in non-contact sports to resume training in Port Harcourt – Minister

first_imgThe Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has directed that athletes in non-contact sports should resume training in Port Harcourt, Rivers State soon, ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.John Joshua-Akanji, the Minister’s Special Adviser (Media), disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Abuja. “This has come on the heels of the announcement by the Federal Government that those in non-contact sports can resume training across the country with strict compliance to the COVID-19 protocols,” Joshua-Akanji said.NAN reports that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 had on Thursday announced the lifting of restrictions on outdoor communal non-contact sports.Joshua-Akanji said plans had been concluded for about 20 athletes in track and field to resume training at the Port Harcourt High Performance Centre.He said: “The Minister has directed that in the next few weeks about 20 athletes will resume training at the HPC in Port Harcourt.“This is to kick-start Nigeria’s resumption of sports and also a way of resuming skeletal training for the Tokyo Olympic Games because we don’t want the athletes to get rusty. “A lot of things are being put in place, but it is a gradual process.“We don’t want to rush everybody at once and we want to be careful and tread with caution.”NAN reports that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, originally scheduled to hold from July 24 to August 9, was postponed to the summer of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Dare’s aide expressed optimism that Nigeria would do well at the Olympics and all other international competitions with the measures being put in place.On the use of public sports facilities and stadia for athletes training, Joshua-Akanji said the facilities would soon be opened after all health protocols might have been put in place. He, however, warned the public to be more disciplined, cautious and follow all health precautions like physical distancing, hand-washing and use of hand-sanitisers while using the facilities.He said: “The Minister has repeatedly said we will not endanger the lives of anybody because of sports.“So, we are taking a lot of precautions and people need to adhere to all health protocols.”Joshua-Akanji listed the non-contact sports to include lawn tennis, table tennis, squash, badminton, cycling, athletics, golf, polo, para-athletics and cricket.RelatedPosts Bring oil thieves to justice, Gov. Wike urges security agencies Minister gives condition for resumption of contact sports Minister pledges support for development of AI, robotics in Nigeria The media aide assured that there would be a monitoring mechanism to ensure that both private and public sports facilities complied with all safety and health protocols.NAN.Tags: John Joshua AkanjiPort HarcourtSunday DareTokyo Olympicslast_img