•as Team Edo begins contest in tennis, weightlifting
An Official at the 7th Edition of the National Youth Games, currently holding in Asaba, Delta state, Rev. Martins Osagie Asemota, has faulted the method of screening athletes adopted by the National Screening Committee for the 10-day long youth games.
Speaking, with our Correspondent on Saturday ahead of the commencement of the games proper, Rev. Asemota expressed displeasure with the alleged facial screening of the athletes, saying that it is against earlier agreement of the usage of National Identification Number (NIN).
He said that prior to the commencement of this year’s games, it was agreed that screening of athletes would be done through their NIN, but wondered why facial assessment of the athletes was adopted by officials of the National Youths Sports Commission.
He said: “I was there yesterday (Friday), the screening exercise was not okay because the agreement and the law said we should use National Identification Number (NIN) to screen all the athletes, but, we discovered that the NIN was not used, instead they were screening people facially. This is not right because there are some children who are 12 years old but with older facial looks.
“There is no way one can rule out partiality in the exercise. I protested against the way the screening was being conducted.
“Most of our people were screened out. Not only from Edo but athletes from other states were also screened out. This is not good.
“We even have some children who came from the UK and America to compete but were screened out initially because of their body sizes,
“How can you screen out somebody with UK and American passports where their ages are clearly stated. So, I had to make a case for the athletes with their passports and they were later considered to participate in the games.
“I believe they should improve on the screening exercise because if you want to get the real age for the youth games, athletes should be screened with NIN,” he advised
Meanwhile, Edo State contingent will today begin their quest for the top position in this year’s games with contests in Table Tennis and weightlifting events.
In the table tennis boys singles event, Edo State 12-year-old Aleoba Emmanuel is paired against players from Nasarawa and Ondo states in group 3 while in the female category, 12-year-old Azeta Eromosele from Edo will square up against Promise Okon John (Akwa Ibom) andTemitayo Adebayo from Ondo state in group 6.
In the weightlifting event, Esther Chijioke will be representing the state in 45KG just as little Abdumalik Haruna will be competing in the 49KG.
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