Olympic Solidarity takes action in Niger
The FINA/IOC Olympic Solidarity Development Programme is back to Africa. The Fédération Nigerienne de Natation welcomed Maurice Beunet (FFN Sports Technical Advisor and Relationship Officer for the North African and French-speaking countries) in Niamey for a Technical Course for Coaches, Swimming (Beginner level) from April 14-22, 2011. Two national coaches, Daouda and Morou, with good experience and 22 beginners took part in the course.
Mr. Beunet noted that "the swimming activity in Niger is mainly concentrated in a few big cities (three to four swimming pools) and in the Niger River. Daouda and Morou ensure the Federation's development and activity by accompanying the projects of President Youssoufou Ahmadou Tidjani."
The Federation's global objectives are to start a global activity regarding early trainings and aquatic discovery, for instance, by organising the swimmers education within clubs, half-day discovery activities and to render swimming safer in the Niger River.
The participants with Mr. Beunet (center) in Niger
For swimming races, the development focuses on the country's participation at the African Championships (Zone B); at FINA competitions with Olympic Solidarity; to send swimmers to training camps organised by Olympic Solidarity; to create and structure clubs and organise competitions around the clubs' swimming activity.
Other areas of development are lifesaving (the swimming activity in and round the River to become safer as well as the swimming pools) and the promotion of water polo.
Development is hindered partly by the difficult access to swimming pools, the poor water quality and the lack of educational material.
Eventually, the creation of an African education/training center with means on the Continent itself to maintain training and the development of local resources would emerge.