Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State has lamented the under utilization of the Warri Stadium in spite of boasting of the best of sporting facilities and acceptable modern equipment of international standards.
Speaking after assessing the facilities in place for the AYAC which kicks off today(Wednesday, March 27, 2013) in Warri stadium, the Governor said that it was unfortunate that the stadium was not being patronized by the federal authorities and others in charge of national and international sporting events in the country.
“With the facilities on ground in this stadium, there is no reason why there should be no activities here or why we cannot host national and international sports competitions on a regular basis in Warri stadium”, he stated.
Uduaghan was delighted that the stadium was successfully reconfigured to provide for track and field events of international standard in addition to the provision of the Estimated Distance Measurement (EDM) equipment for accurate measurement of athletes time and distance returns.
The EDM which is the first of its kind in Nigeria, was an added advantage to the preparedness of the Warri stadium which also boasts of a four-lane warm up track with jump facilities. Outside Warri only Abuja national stadium has such facilities in the country.
The EDM timing device is used to manage competitions to eliminate the use of tapes in measuring distances in events like Long jump, Triple jump, Javelin, etc. Similarly, it measures and records the reaction of athletes at the start lines to avoid controversies.
“We are setting standards to help develop sports so that our athletes will be encouraged to do their best to raise their own standards and be counted among the best in the world … This is how the likes of Blessing Okagbare were discovered”, the Governor said of the facilities and equipment at the Warri Stadium.
He assured that the state government would regularly maintain the facilities and equipment to avoid decay, deterioration and fall in standard.
About 37 countries are participating in the Africa Youth Athletics Championships (AYAC)