The National Youth Games in its penultimate day saw the completion of the Chess event with over two hundred participants on a beautiful note amidst decoration of players by the top officials, both former and present in the sports.
Speaking to Platinum News after the presentation of medals to participating teams, the head of the technical department, Nigeria Chess Federation, Mr Akhiwu Eugene registered his excitement at the performances of teams and that no casualties occurred during the tournament with a good attitude from players and coaches.
“I have a feeling of fulfilment, not necessarily that everything was smooth, but fulfilment in the sense that we came, we saw and we are resolved to build a better youth game because this Youth game is the foundation for growth, the way it’s designed to be.”
“I’d see that there were so many defects and it’s because there’s no regulation in black and white that the people who are running the game are guided by, so I’m going to give my report back to the Federation that sent me here and we are going to make sure that we have a robust regulation that will guide this Chess event of the Youth Games so that we can achieve our purpose to the maximum.”
Talking about plans on engaging the youths after the games- in building and developing their capacity, the NCF board member representing the technical department said there are a lot of works in the pipeline that would be launched soon.
“I have been mandated by the President to seek for talents that we can develop, here and I have picked about ten names and there are lofty plans develop these people event to the extent that we are making arrangements for them to get a scholarship to go abroad, to study in Chess academies; I know that’s in the pipeline, that’s just one of the few things because it’s not just going to be this term, we are going to have series of junior and cadet tournaments across the country which will be from this year till next year calendar and I’m sure anytime we go out we are going to recognize talents that we would initiate development for.”
Rating the organization of this year’s games, Mr Akhiwu said “If you want me to be realistic, I will score them 4 over 10, but I can tell you that it’s not because they don’t want it to be 10 over 10, but because they do not have the required information to make it 10 over 10, but I assure you that next year’s game will be better.”
Speaking further, now about his team (staff) at the Chess event of the Youth Games, the technical director of Nigeria Chess Federation showered encomium on his team.
“We worked and did our best within the limitations that we had, but I’m sure provisions will be made to remove all those limitations that we experienced and if we are not hundred per cent, it won’t be possible for the players to be hundred per cent and the ministry to follow us hundred per cent”.
In attendance at the medals presentation were Prof. Raymond Ogundare, Mrs Mabel Akintoye, Mr Lekan Adeyemi, NAWIS representative, NCF Board; Director of Sports Bayelsa State Sports Council, Sir Braveman Wodi; South-South representative Nigeria Chess Federation Board, Apemiye Austin and others.