Chairman of the Gombe State Athletics Association, Alhaji Ahmed Shuaibu-Gara Gombe, has restated his commitment to the development of track and field in the state, saying the results his talent hunt at the grassroots would show in the next five years. Gombe, who made the declaration at the maiden Gara Gombe Athletics Grand Prix held on Tuesday, February 21 in Gombe, said winning medals through mercenaries has proved counter-productive over the years.
According to him, the use of mercenaries by states for competitions is the reason sports development in Nigeria has suffered setbacks, stating that the funds states in the country spent on recruiting mercenaries for competitions are enough to invest in discovering and nurturing athletes.
“There can be no sustainable development except a development through the grassroots because this serves as the factory to produce future stars,” he said.
“I have commenced a comprehensive talent hunt at the grassroots in Gombe State since I became chairman of the State Athletics Association and I believe the result will show in the next five years.”
The competition which featured athletes in and around the Gombe metropolis was keenly contested in 100m, 400m, 1500m, long jump and 4×100m relay boys and girls.
as other demonstration events also took center Stage. The grand prix being the first of its kind was attended by over 200 primary school pupils from the 11 local government areas of Gombe State with the aim of kindling interests of huge numbers of the school children to embrace athletics at young age.