By Anayo David ODO
As part of preparations for Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) developed the GAPS (Gather, Adjust, Prepare and Sustain) programme for Para Athletes that will participate in the Games.
CGF is starting the programme with the Para Athletics, Para Table Tennis and Para Powerlifting. The objectives of GAPS is to offer emerging athletes and coaches from Commonwealth countries additional skills, knowledge and resources to become self-reliant and excel in sports, create effective, long term stakeholder partnerships, ensure inclusion and diverse participant representation, deliver a fully-funded GAPS program in each region of the Commonwealth.
Nigeria is among the 13 out of 19 Commonwealth countries that have been selected for the GAPS programme. The athletes and coaches that have been considered for the programme are, Para Table Tennis with 5 athletes and 1 Coach, Para Powerlifting – 4 athletes and 4 Coaches and Para athletics – 2 athletes and 2 coaches.
The beneficiaries of the GAPS project underwent a 5 days virtual knowledge sharing programme with other countries before they were selected.
CGF will provide all necessary logistic materials such as flight tickets, visas, accommodation, feeding and allowances to the selected coaches and athletes for the project.
The event will take place in South Africa, Dubai and Birmingham as part of their preparation for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
CGF is collaborating with Commonwealth Games Associations (CGAs) and Nigeria Paralympics Committees (NPC) in order to make the programme successful.
President of Commonwealth Games Nigeria, Engr. Habu Ahmed Gumel thanked CGF for initiating this laudable programme which will provide opportunity for the athletes and coaches to train for the Games.