Nigerian athletes’ abysmal performance at international competitions are due to lack of exposure, Gideon Akinshola, a board member of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF) said on Friday.
Akinshola said in Lagos that adequate funding was needed to expose athletes to high grade tournaments to increase their chances of doing well at global meets.
He, however, solicited for the assistance of individuals and corporate organisations for the sponsorship of athletes.
According to him, sufficient funds will ensure adequate support to efforts at exposing athletes and enhancing their performance.
He said that the body had concluded arrangement to approach individuals and companies with its proposal ahead of some tournaments coming up later in the year and 2017.
“We are making this request early because we will begin to approach individuals and companies for sponsorship soon.
“Our athletes need to participate in local and international competitions for exposure and this can only be possible with the availability of funds.
“This is an effort to have a plan B rather than solely relying on when funds are made available by the authorities which has previously affected athletes’ participation in championships,’’ he said.
Akinshola noted that athletes got excited when they had sponsorship to take part in international tournaments as it was an opportunity for them to improve their standard.
According to him, athletes who participate and performed credibly in championships are usually upgraded in the Africa.
He urged coaches and athletes to show more dedication to make remarkable impact to encourage sponsors.
Akinshola also promised that the body would adequately utilize every sponsorship funds for the purpose for which it was meant.
“We will be ready to give a good account of all expenses made,’’ he added.