Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama, the Technical Director, Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) on Saturday said the federation would select about 120 athletes to camp ahead of the Africa Youth Athletics Championships (AYAC).
Nesiama told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the AFN had sent scouts to the All Nigeria Secondary School Games to ensure that exceptional athletes were selected for camping.
The All Nigeria Secondary School Games is scheduled to hold between Jan.24 and Feb.3 in Port Harcourt.
“We have sent our scouts to the Secondary School Games in Port Harcourt to look out for exceptional and promising talents.
“We are hopeful that we will get promising talents between the ages of 16 years and 17 years to represent the country at the African Youth Athletics Championships,’’ he said.
He said that the camp would be to prepare the discovered talents ahead of the 1st Africa Youth Athletic Championships scheduled for April in Warri, Delta.
Nesiama said that camping would begin in different parts of the country to accommodate athletes’ education and ensure that they were not missing out of school activities.
“The camping will not be in one place, we will put our coaches in a way to suit the athletes because of their education as most of them should still be students.
“We will also work out a modality with their various schools to accommodate our special programmes for the athletes,’’ he said.
He said that at the end of the national trial, only 80 athletes would be selected to represent the country at the AYAC.
“We are registering 40 male and 40 female for the championships because we are participating in 20 events as the host,’’ he said.
He said that these athletes would gradually be groomed into the elite category to represent the country in future competitions.