By Olusegun Folarin

Stakeholders in the track and field events have converged on Abeokuta, the Ogun State Capital to design a template towards upscaling athletics activities in the South West zone.

The 2-day event put together by the South West Athletics Conference, SWAC, attracted sports administrators, and academia, including Professor Seun Omotayo, Professor Tunde Makanjuola, former Nigerian athletes in the track and field and coaches from Ogun, Ekiti, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Lagos States.

Presenting the communique to Journalists, the Director, School Sports Lagos State Sports Commission, Dr Oluyomi Oluwasanmi said the conference resolved to establish Sports Development Trust Fund as part of the efforts to achieve the target goal.

Dr Oluwasanmi said the conference advocated the provision of adequate incentives and motivational packages for athletes, coaches, and officials to promote better performances as well as the establishment of proper talent transfer mechanisms.

She noted that the conference also called for the establishment of Government Scholarships and Adopt-a-talent programmes to foster early-stage development, talent incubation and opportunities for successful and rewarding professional sports careers.

Emphasizing the need to maintain a good working relationship with the media being an integral part of the South-West Nigeria athletics community, Dr Oluwasanmi said there was the need to ensure the Development of Sports Coaching Techniques towards the production of 15 podium athletes at the Olympics in 4 years’ time.

According to her, the conference emphasized the rebranding of school sports programmes and events with regard to attractive content development, visibility/mileage for sponsors and the development of a uniform and robust school sports calendar.

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