Nigerian International Gymnastics coach, Anthony Asuquo is praying that the Coronavirus pandemic would role away and he would start rolling out his plans to take Gymnastics to global platform.

Gymnastics Technical Expert, Anthony Asuquo

Speaking exclusively to a group of Sports Journalist called EXCLUSIVENEWS on their Whatsapp Platform in Abuja the Federal Capital, the former Technical Representative on the board of Nigeria Gymnastics Federation, “i just want to focus on the development of gymnastics now as the appropriate time foundation will come.”

Coach Asuquo disclosed that “through our humanitarian service, we spotted some gymnasts and we gave them scholarships which we are going to train them from grassroots level to competitive level”.

According to him, gymnastics remains the mother of all sports, as the game is the number one sports in America and South Africa, which he disclosed has created over 40,000 jobs in America.

America based Uche Uke who won Gold for Team Nigeria in Gymnastics.

In many of our universities, gymnasts get scholarships than any other sports, to promote gymnastic in Nigeria is not difficult, but it takes a creative federation to grow the game in Nigeria, Coach Asuquo noted.

He said, “I brought gymnastics back to Nigeria when we got banned from the international body, I paid $800 to the international body and pleaded with them before the ban was lifted.

“I and three other members spoke to both the current and former president of the federation about the fine which they refused to pay, but I paid the money to lift the ban. Today they are enjoying that benefit from the international body”

The International Gymnastics Federation certified coach said, “Ever since I have been competing at the NSF from 1989 to 2006, I have never seen us record data at the NSF as a country, although we have been able to discover athletes that are exceptionally outstanding from the NSF. But getting their data is something the federations have not been doing.

He revealed that “Many good athletes faded out because there is no encouragement from the federation or from their different sports councils. Many of them do not get paid; they go for training and after, sort themselves out”.

“Some of these athletes are used and dumped by states during NSF such that during the festivals, states signed them to compete for them but after the festivals, they are all gone.

“Federations do not also organize programs, no physical preparation, thus after the festival, they just let the athletes go. Any time there are competitions, you see them rushing, train for two or three weeks to get them together and compete for the championship. This, to my opinion, is not healthy for our athletes and for the conditioning of the physical body. We need to get the athletes’ body alignment fixed and then their physical preparations too”.

“So the policy concerning grassroots sports is that we should be able to have data of all our athletes and get competitions cut across all federations in Nigeria. We should also have a monitoring team. When I attended my coaching course at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, I studied sports science, much was said on physical preparations and we cannot do without that,” he said.

It was a meeting in the air where sports Journalists who were members of the platform from various places especially Lagos and Abuja axis through double barrel questions and some offloaded their cartridge questions to search for his deep knowledge of the game of Gymnastics.

- Eniola Olatunji.

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