Lagos – The Nigerian School Sports Federation, NSSF, said on Friday that the essence of its recently concluded seminar on Sports Teachers “Anti-Doping for Schools” in the country was to curb the threat of doping at the grassroots.
Federation President Olabisi Joseph reports in Lagos that the NSSF collaborated with the National Anti-Doping Commission and the University of Ibadan on the two-day virtual seminar.
No less than 300 sports teachers from across the country participated in the event.
She said: “As part of the NSSF’s seven point IMPACTS development agenda,“ A ”stands for organizing a no-cheat Age Appropriation program.
“Doping is cheating and the NSSF will show zero tolerance for cheating of any kind.
“That 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 Masters and Sports Officials of the Games are well informed and trained on the issue of anti-doping.
“If we get these impressionable kids right from the start, we may be able to eradicate doping on a professional level.
“The importance of this seminar is to keep our teachers and sports officials aware of the methods that can be used to identify prohibited substances,” added the President.
He added that there was a need to educate game teachers and sports officials on how to recognize the signs to watch out for.
“It is important to get an idea of the roles and responsibilities of game directors and sports officials as athlete support personnel to identify the dangers associated with doping.
“It is important that we train teachers, sports officials on how to instill a drug-free sports culture in our school boys and girls, knowing that the use of prohibited substances to improve performance is not the right attitude,” he said.
Among the participants were more physical education teachers, game teachers, sports coordinators from the Ministry of Education, SUBEB, sports councils / commissions, the Secondary Education Board and zonal / district coordinators.
Additionally, NSSF participant and executive Dr. Oba Funsho said that the importance of the seminar cannot be overemphasized.
Dr. Funsho said: “There is a saying that to stop learning is to stop growing. Training is a key point on the NSSF development agenda and we believe that an organization’s progress is largely determined by the knowledge acquired and implemented by its people.
“It is sad that some of these play teachers don’t know how to help these children make the right choice, and it is important that those under their purview understand the need to help these little ones make better decisions.
“We believe that we must teach them about the dangers of going down that dangerous path, so that in the future we can have athletes who focus on being men and women of integrity.
“As a participant, I can only implore the other participants to pay the utmost attention to our students and also apply the knowledge derived from the seminar.
“Knowledge, they say, is potential but it becomes power when applied.”
Femi Ayorinde, a former chair of the National Anti-Doping Committee, which oversees anti-doping activities in Nigeria, said the seminar should not be the only one to constantly re-educate handlers.
“We cannot downplay the fact that performance-enhancing doping for athletes is a new trend, but what we can do to curb it is to make sure young athletes understand the implications of using banned substances.
“We can start educating them now, to do better and make the right decisions,” he said.
Abdoulaye Bamba-Mbaye, Secretary General of the African School Sports Federation, ASSF, and member of the executive committee of the International School Sports Federation praised the efforts of the board led by Joseph.
“It is highly recommended that these children have a body that really cares about their general well-being.
“It’s not just about organizing competitions, it’s also about instilling the right morals in them, which is commendable. ASSF is proud of the initiative ”.