The former Technical Director of the Nigeria Gymnastics Federation, coach Anthony Asuquo says he is optimistic that gymnastics can become the most sort after sports in Nigeria, if given the right attention.
Speaking to The Athletic NG on the genre of the sport which also include aerobics, artistic and power tumbling, Asuquo, an international certified gymnastics coach said that not too many Nigerians have an idea of what gymnastic is about but will be delighted to learn the sports.
He stated that Aerobics and Power tumbling Gymnastics will win Nigeria medals due to its simple elements and encourage aspiring athletes to develop an interest.
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The Edo 2020 National Sports Festival which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria has gymnastics as one of the featured sport with 17 out of the 36 states participating.
He said, “Many athletes do not get paid and they just go for training, then afterwards left alone to go sort themselves out.
“Not many Sports councils pay their athletes and do not organise programmes and physical preparation regimes which leads to the Nigerian fire brigade approach whenever competitions are approaches.
“Gymnastics can simply become the best and most sort after sports in Nigeria if given the right attention because it is simple to understand.”
Coach Asuquo calls on the Nigeria Gymnastics Federations to set up a monitoring team which will follow up gymnasts in the country to physically condition their bodies to be fit at all times.
Anthony Asuquo was a household name in gymnastics in Nigeria between 1989 to 2006 National Sports Festivals but said he is disappointed at the nation’s inability to achieve its primary objective of capturing data gymnasts over the years.