The 2018 National Youth Games (NYG) will officially kick off today at the University of Ilorin after the completion of the screening exercise.
As at press time, 23 states had undergone the screening exercise at the Unilorin Multipurpose hall while eight more states are being expected.
UNILORIN will host the next 5 editions of the tournament unless other states come up with better facilities to partner with the Ministry of Youth and Sports on NYG.
This year’s edition is the first edition pegged at the age of 15 years. The three previous editions had been Under 17 categories.
The Director of Grassroots Sports Development in the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports, Ademola Are prior to the commencement of the Games had warned against age cheating by athletes and the states.
He further stated every athlete must undergo the screening to be eligible to contest at the Youth Games while reiterating that state’s found guilty will pay the sum of N250,000 per athlete and the coaches face a one year ban.
“We want to ensure that the screening committee does a good job. We don’t want to indulge states that wants to win medals by all cost by presenting overage athletes” he said during the screening exercise.
“We have conscience and when you see a child less than 15 years old you know. Some persons raised the issue of documents like passport, child certificate and I told them sorry we might not go with that because they can always get alternative documents everywhere. We want to see these children physically and justice will be done accordingly”
The game will officially open today by 2pm with 31 states registering for this year’s edition including the FCT participating in the 10 day event in 20 different sporting events. The five missing states are Ondo, Edo, Yobe, Zamfara and Anambra states