The head coach of the Lagos State Weightlifting Association, Ene Bassey, has said the association was looking beyond the 2012 National Sports Festival in its preparation.
Bassey said the association was already preparing weightlifters that would represent the state in the 2014 National Sports Festival.
"We have even started making effort to train young athletes in the sports as a way of preparing for the 2014 National Sports Festival.
"I have three athletes here, who are not meant for the 2012 festival but preparing for the next festival to be hosted in Cross River,” he said.
Bassey said that the association had initiated discussions with some other states to organise friendly competitions between their weightlifters and the Lagos team.
"We are going out of the state for friendly competitions with up to three states before the competition."
The coach gave assurance that Lagos State would win virtually all the medals in the sports during the fiesta coming up in from Nov. 27 to Dec. 9.
"We are very, very sure of winning gold medals in the festival that is why we are currently having three training sessions daily - morning, afternoon and in the evening."
According to him, the inadequate training facilities compelled the association to adopt the three training sessions.
"It is because we do not have enough facilities for training, so we have to separate the time of training for all categories of athletes.
"We have a lot of school children coming for training here in the evening time too."
The coach appealed for the upgrading of infrastructure and sports facilities in the country, stressing Nigeria can only meet the international standard provided there are adequate facilities for athletes training.
Bassey criticised the habitual shoddy preparation for international competitions, adding that it was usually the reason for the poor performance of the country’s athletes.
The coach said that the attendance and punctuality of athletes to training had been affected by the ongoing repairs of sections of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.