Coach recommends strict measures to curb age-cheat in sports

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Lucas Honvo, Coach, Lagos State Handball Association (LSHA), on Monday urged state associations to be strict in curbing age-cheat at grassroots championships.

Honvo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that such measures would ensure that schools that presented over-aged athletes or mercenary at competitions are disqualified or banned.

NAN reports that Age cheat is a term for age fabrication or the use of false documentation to gain an advantage over opponents.

Honvo, however, stressed the need to make information available to schools aspiring to feature athletes at competitions, particularly at age-grade competitions.

“The only way to put a stop to age-cheat at age-grade competitions is to include sanctions in the information sent to schools before a championship.

“Any school that violates the standing rule as specified on the programme should be disqualified from taking part, if possible banned for a season,’’ the coach said.

Honvo also said that grassroots’ competitions were purposefully organised for upcoming players to exhibit their skills, while the association was expected to take advantage of the event to identify new talents.

“Grassroots’ competitions are not organised for the sole purpose of having a winner, but an avenue to bring upcoming athletes to exhibit their skills in their different areas of talents.

“Grassroots events is purely meant to discover new talents, therefore, it is important to give priority to the objective of the programme.

“This initiative will help to set a general standard and prerequisite for championships organised at various levels,’’ he said.

Honvo said that the idea should be made a standing rule to be embraced by sport associations to check age- cheat.

The coach, however, suggested that coordinators of championships should appoint an autonomous screening committee to verify athletes’ age. (NAN)

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