By NBF News

LAGOS State Sports Council (LSSC) yesterday said it decided to donate kits and equipment to the Amalgamation of Female Football Coaches of Nigeria based on their contributions to the development of female football in the country.

The council recently donated the kits and equipment to the coaches' body prior to the commencement of the 2011 Women All Stars football tourney, which entered the quarter-final stage yesterday.

LSSC Chairman, Agboola Dabiri, told journalists on Wednesday that the donation was meant to motivate the organisers and the hundreds of youths competing in the tournament. He said: 'It is in line with the state government's drive for grassroots sports development, which is paramount in our agenda.

'We will continue to give our youths the desired environment to excel. That is why we prefer to groom our own athletes through the catch-them-young programme.

Unfortunately, after grooming them, other states come to poach them by enticing them with money. We can never indulge in poaching because it does not make for growth.'

He condemned the frequent postponements of the National Sports Festival. According to him, 'it disrupts athletes' programmes, disrupts planning for the administrators and even budgeting. What do you expect an athlete who had been training for the past two or three months for a competition in February to do when you now say that competition has been postponed to June?

'Where do you expect the council, for instance, to get the extra money to prosecute the festival if that was originally meant for last year?'

A former chairman of the Surulere Local Council, Dabiri described his first year in office as the sports council chairman as challenging, adding: 'I had to sit down and study what was on ground and all the operations under my portfolio and how to relate with my supervisory ministry.

'The separation of functions has made my operations easy and ensured we operate in a very cordial atmosphere.'