Adegboyega Adenuga, a Lagos State-based athletics coach, says the maximum welfare package should be in place for Nigerian athletes as they prepare for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Adenuga said on Tuesday in Lagos that this was necessary in view of the fact that preparations have begun in earnest for the Games.

The Games is scheduled for Gold Coast from April 4 to April 15.

Outstanding athletes discovered at the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports-organised national trials have now resumed camping in Port Harcourt.

“The problem of adopting the fire brigade approach in preparing for international tournaments is now disappearing with the recently organised National Trials for the Commonwealth Games.

“This is a plus for our sports sector. It is also a welcome development that the identified athletes are now in camp.

“However, their welfare package must be given priority to fortify their preparations.

“This package has to do with the provision of kits for trainings, good feeding, medicals and, most importantly, ensuring the prompt payment of allowances.

“This is because during the specified camp duration, the target is to get the athletes physically and psychologically focused for them to excel and improve the country’s medals haul at the Games,’’ Adenuga said.

He said athletes with credible performances at the National Trials held in Abuja in December were working hard in the ongoing national camps to make the final list.

The coach said foreign-based athletes would also be given opportunity to be part of the final stage trials in February, which would determine the fate of all the athletes.

“The camping is part of the build-up, to help them defend their titles recorded at the recently held National Trials, because that will be highly competitive due to the presence of the foreign-based athletes.

“It is after the February trials that the official list of athletes who will represent Nigeria in the 2018 Commonwealth Games will be determined,” he said.

Adenuga added that with such good measures in place and realisable, there would be no need for training tours, except to get the athletes acclimatised to the Australian weather.

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