The President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Engr Sani Ndanusa has declared 2011 as the year for Nigerian athletes.
The NOC President, in his New Year message, said that the Olympic body was firmly focused on ensuring that athletes excel in all competitions that they enter for and promised that adequate reward would be given to boost the performance of such athletes.
Ndanusa, who is the Vice-President of the Confederation of African Tennis (CAT) and President of the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF), said that a deliberate policy of motivation for athletes had been developed by the NOC, stating that athletes would be motivated in all forms that would make them to compete favorably with their foreign counterparts in all international competitions.
He said that it has become imperative for athletes to be maximally motivated given that they had not received such support in the past.
"Our focal point in 2011 would be on the athletes, who are the real actors of sports. The NOC will do anything and everything to support them and ensure that they excel at major international competitions, like the All Africa Games in Botswana and the Olympic Games London 2012", said Ndanusa.
The NOC boss also urged the press to beam their searchlight more on athlete’s progress and challenges rather than on administrators.
"Sports is for athletes and they are the ones who we all should focus our attention to ensure that they become great. We cannot afford to relegate our athletes to the background because they are the ones who are on the stage", he said.
The NOC president noted that the body will do its bit to contribute to real grassroots programmes.
The NOC President also urged all sports federations to submit their programmes for 2011 to the NOC for support.
"In helping our athletes to grow, we need to know what the federations have set out to do in the year and that is why we are imploring them to submit their programmes for the year to us, so that we can offer them our support," Ndanusa stated.