By Lawal A. Dogara, Kaduna
The 2018 National Taekwondo trials for selection of national team players kicked off at the indoor sports hall of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The national trials, expected to last two days drew participants from all the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.
Chairman of the Technical and Development Committee, Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF), Sani Lawal, told the Newsdiary Online shortly after a technical meeting, that the competition was to select best taekwondo athletes for national team.
“The federation is here to select those who will compete for the national team for the next one year or so. We are trying to create an avenue where we will every year do a trial.
“In every trial, we will select the best four players and put them in camp immediately to see what will be coming out from the international outings.
“The essence of going into camp immediately after the selection is because we are likely going for the African Championship in Morocco, which is coming up in April.
“There are two championships — the senior championship and the King’s Cup — which we hope to attend, and the reason for attending such competitions is to gather points for qualification into Olympics,’’ he said.
The chairman identified funding, time factor and lack of facilities as major constraints militating against the growth of the game in Nigeria.
He, however, appealed to governments and the private sector to extend more support to further make the game popular amongst Nigerians.
Lawal assured that the selection of athletes would be free and fair, saying it was one of the reasons the trials was slated for one venue.