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Our focus is to curb doping in grassroots sports, says NSSF’s president 


The federation’s President, Olabisi Joseph told the Newsmen in Lagos that the NSSF collaborated with the National Anti-Doping Commission and the University of Ibadan in the two-day virtual seminar.
Newsmen report that no fewer than 300 sports masters across the country participated in the event.
“As part of the NSSF’s Seven-point development agenda IMPACTS, “A” stands for organizing Age Appropriation program devoid of cheating.
“Doping is cheating, and NSSF will display zero tolerance to cheating of any kind.
” Which is why we find it very important to collaborate with our partner TETFUND, the University of Ibadan, and the National Anti-Doping Committee to ensure that our Games Masters and Sports Officers are well informed and trained on the issue of Anti-Doping.
“If we get it right with these young impressionable children from the get-go, we may be able to eradicate doping at the professional level.
 “The importance of this seminar is to keep our teachers and sports officers abreast of methods that can be used to identify prohibited substances,” the president said.
She added that there was a need to educate game masters and sports officers on how to recognize the signs to look out for.
” It is important to have an idea of the roles and responsibilities of game masters and sports officers as athlete support personnel to identify dangers associated with doping.
“It is important we train teachers, sports officers on how to be able to inculcate a drug-free sports culture in our school boys and girls, knowing that the use of prohibited substances to enhance performance is not the right attitude,” she said.
NAN reports that 300 Physical Health Education teachers, Games Masters, Sports Coordinators from the Ministry of Education, SUBEB, Sports Councils/Commission, Secondary Education Board, and Zonal/District coordinators were participants.
In the same vein, Dr. Oba Funsho, a participant and an executive of NSSF, said that the importance of the seminar cannot be overemphasized.
“There is a saying that to stop learning is to stop growing.
“Training is a key point in the development agenda of the NSSF and we believe that the progress of an organization is greatly determined by the knowledge acquired and implemented by its people.
“It is said that some of these games masters do not know how to help these children make the right choice, and it is important that those who these children are under their purview understand the need to help these young ones make better choices.
“We believe that we need to teach them about the dangers of toeing that dangerous path, so in the future, we can have athletes that focused on being men and women of integrity.
” As a participant, I can only implore other participants to please pay maximum attention to our pupils and also apply the knowledge derived from the seminar, knowledge they say is potential but becomes power when applied,” he said.
Femi Ayorinde, a former Chairman of the National Anti-Doping Committee who monitors Anti-doping activities in Nigeria, said that the seminar shouldn’t be a one-off in order to constantly re-educate the handlers.
“We can not downplay the fact that doping which enhances athletes’ performances is a new trend, but what we can do to curb it is to ensure that young athletes understand the implications of using banned substances.
“We can start to educate them now, so they’d do better and make the right choices,” he said.
Abdoulaye Bamba-Mbaye, the Secretary-General of the African Schools Sports Federation (ASSF) and a member of the executive committee of the International Schools Sports Federation commended the effort of the Joseph led board.
“It is highly commendable that these children have a body that truly cares about their overall well being.
“It’s not just about organizing competitions, it is also about instilling the right morals in them which is commendable the ASSF is proud of the initiative,” he said.
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