The Chioma Ajunwa-Opara U-16 Athletics competition begins on Tuesday at the Umuahia Stadium, Abia State.
The three-day competition, organised by Atlanta ’96 Olympic Games gold medallist Chioma Ajunwa-Opara and powered by the Abia State Government, will have youngsters competing in 10 events, which include 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m.
Other events are the long jump, triple jump, 4x100m, 4x400m, 100m hurdles and the 400m hurdles.
Ajunwa-Opara said the meet, which is in its second edition, was meant to identify new talents in athletics that would go on to represent the country from the 2024 Olympic Games.
The Assistant Commissioner of Police added that the event would also be used to lecture athletes against the use of drugs in their careers.
“The major target of the competition is to catch them young and ensure that we don’t recycle athletes anymore. Our aim is to discover and groom athletes who would start representing Nigeria from the 2024 Olympics,” Ajunwa-Opara stated.
“We are also going to use the competition to educate the young athletes on the dangerous effects of drugs to their lives and careers. These days, young people think indulging in drugs is fun. We need to erase such impression from their minds.
“I thank the Abia State Government for helping us remove the kids from the streets. Winners of every event will get cash prizes that would help them pay their school fees and buy books for the next two terms. The overall winner will also receive a large sum of money.”
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