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Kids’ Athletics Federation (IAAF) Programme comes to Nigeria

Lagos, 9 March 2011.The Nigerian child’s right to play and sport will be given a boost today as International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), the British Council, National Sports Commission, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board and UNICEF begin a master trainer course for the Kids Athletics programme. Coaches, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board focal officers for sports and play are being trained as master trainers.

The training event will be at two levels. The first part of the training is for Physical Education teachers from 7 International Inspiration Sport Programme-targeted primary schools, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) School Sports officers from the different Local Government Areas, and Community-based coaches from the Nigerian Athletics Federation. These officers will be trained as Master Trainers and their training will be supported by the use of Resource packs. The second level of the exercise will feature the training of 50 pupils (Primary 1-6) of National Primary School Abule Oja by these Master Trainers.

The benefits of athletics to the development of the child are numerous. Athletics presents an excellent opportunity for children to interact competitively with their peers through a wide variety of sporting events appropriate for their age. The IAAF Kids Athletics programme is a new concept of Athletics that is uniquely tailored to the development needs of children. It is different from the adult model of Athletics, very attractive, instructive and accessible to children of all abilities that fall within the 7-15 age range.

The goal of the IAAF KIDS’ ATHLETICS programme is for a large number of children to be able to engage in a variety of basic athletics displays at the same time and that all children irrespective of ability, gender, age, strength and speed are able to participate while realizing their rights to play. The adventurous nature of such sporting events adds to its attractiveness while requiring little human capacity (Coaches or Staff) for the purpose of supervision. The IAAF Kids Athletics programme provides a means through which all children can be integrated under a social background where children are involved in team sporting events that are safe and guided by very simple rules that ensure minimal injury. Through opportunities to play the roles of official and team coaches, children are able to prepare for and experience citizenship buildings. The target is to retain the interest and attention of these pupils while providing an element of mystery that ensures their motivation throughout the sporting encounter. “Sports can play an important, complementary role in the health and educational development of children,” said UNICEF Deputy Representative in Nigeria, Jacques Boyer. “It is something that the Nigerian National School Health policy recognizes and supports, and it is UNICEF’s hope that parents and caregivers will too.”



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