Some weightlifting coaches have urged the Lagos State government to outline plans for the sport this year to end the neglect suffered by the sport in 2023.
The coaches, in separate interviews in Lagos, said not much was achieved last year; hence, the government should ensure the sport does not suffer neglect in the current year.
Taiwo Olabanji, a coach with the Lagos State Weightlifting Association, said the state government should be focused and come up with programs early enough for events.
“We understand that getting sponsors for their events may be tough, but they must put in great efforts to ensure the very best for the youth,” Olabanji said.
According to him, the government should invest in equipment to engage youths when they come to train, as this goes a long way in building future stars for the country.
“We need the association and the national federation to take the sport to the next level; this is one sport that has generated lots of medals for the country over the years.
“How do we develop the youth if we don’t have the right structure for them to grow and become world-beaters?
“The state association and even the federation must be determined to make a difference in the current year,” Olabanji said.
Similarly, Abraham Babatunde, another coach with Lagos State Weightlifting Association, added that he was not happy with the way things were going.
He said the sport was suffering from neglect and it should not be so.
“They need to come out with programs that would attract the youth and sponsors for the sport.
“We are suffering from neglect, and this is not supposed to be so; this sport has brought a lot of medals to Nigeria at the world championships and at the African Games.
“The African Game is coming up in Ghana in March, and so far we have not heard anything from the federation on how our preparations should go,” Babatunde said.