By G9ija

Rose Verissimo, the FCT gymnastics coach, on Wednesday in Abuja said her athletes had been out of form following the halt in sports activities due to COVID-19.

Verissimo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the situation had led the athletes’ “coaches to begin training anew for the gymnasts’’.

“The Old Parade Ground is now open, but we had to put in place all the COVID-19 control measures to ensure everyone stays safe.

“We have also experienced a reduction in the number of athletes that usually attend trainings. The gymnasts are usually about 40, but now they are less than 15.

“We just want to concentrate on these ones around and we have a tough job on our hands because the gymnasts are already out of form.

“We have to start all over again with endurance training and all that since they’ve (athletes) been inactive for a long time,’’ she said.

Verissimo also added that the athletes were training ahead of a possible 2020 National Sports Festival (NSF).

The 20th NSF was scheduled for April and was cancelled due to the outbreak of the pandemic in the country.

NAN reports that there is no date yet for the event but the coach said: “the team needs to prepare early so they will not be caught unawares when the date is finally announced.”