Prof. Basil Eke, the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the 4th National Youth Games, says he is optimistic of a good outing as previous challenges have been surmounted.
Eke told the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday that lessons had been learnt from the two previous editions held at the University of Ilorin.
He said though the number of athletes had increased over the years, a better arrangement had been made for them.
He said: “We are expecting a better outing this year because this is the third edition on our campus and I have been involved in all.
“The challenges have been there in previous years but we have been surmounting them.
“So, this year, we have better planning because the number of athletes had been growing since we held the second edition from the 1,800 to about 3,800 that we have now.
“We have learnt from the challenges we had then, so it will be a better outing,” Eke, who is also the Chairman of University of Ilorin Sports Council.”
He said the current challenge now was providing accommodation for officials as they have a different standard of living.
Eke said: “The challenges encountered so far for now are minor and it is on the issue of accommodation.
“I said it is minor because people are used to different standards of living, especially the officials.
“What we wanted is to create a medium where the officials and the athletes will have a common environment for their period of stay so that they understand each other.
“So, that is why we put them together.
“I have interacted with the young people and they are happy with the environment but we didn’t get that same level of enthusiasm from the adults.”
He, however, advised the athletes to imbibe the idea of excellent participation.
He said: “My advice for the athletes, which is actually the basis for the cooperation between the University of Ilorin and the Federal Ministry for Youth and Sports, is to inculcate the idea of excellent participation in sports and pay attention to their studies.
“We believe that as young people in secondary schools, when they come to the university environment, they will nurture the dream of one day studying at the university.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the university hosted the second and third edition of the games in 2016 and 2017 respectively after FCT hosted the first edition in 2013.
The fourth edition, which started on September 7, would end on September 17.