YOC’s Secretary General, Mr. M. Al-Ahjuri:  “We will pay special attention to the junior athletes, for they are the future champs” [Archives:1999/22/Sports]

May 31 1999

Since 1995, the Yemeni Olympic Committee, YOC, has undergone important changes and has now become more effectively involved in boosting sports and cultural activities. 
Mr. Mohammed Al-Ahgeri, a prominent sport official, has been working with the Ministry of Youth and Sport since he graduated form China majoring in sport and physical education. He is now the YOC’s Secretary General. A young man with a lot of enthusiasm, Al-Ahgeri can do much to overcome the many obstacles and improve the difficult situation of Yemeni sports. However, ambitions alone can not affect the desired change. Cash to finance the various sports programs is the main factor for any improvement in the future. 
In this regard , Yemen Times met with Mr. Mohammed Al-Ahjuri to learn about the future prospects of the YOC. 
Q: Do you have a specific working plan through which you can improve the situation of sports in Yemen? 
A: We are now concentrating our efforts on a number of priorities. First, we have established contact with members of the YOC, not only in the Capital Secretariat but also in the whole country, to benefit from their relevant expertise. Second, we have been focusing our efforts on how to prepare the different sport teams as early as possible. Already we have started with practical steps to prepare the sport teams which will take part in the Arab tournament for Sports Games due to begin this coming August in Jordan. We started this preparatory training last January, an unusual step in our case, for we have been criticized for the length of the training period. But I think the time is quite reasonable compared to the other Arab teams taking part in this tournament, whose training programs are superior to ours either in the length of time or in the quality of training. Our main problem has always been the lack of funds, which obstructs improvement of the level of performance. However, we are working to see that this training camp for the Jordan competition will continue for the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Jordan’s tournament will give us the chance to focus on the players who stand out in the competition and are able to perform well under pressure. Full attention is to be given to those promising players so as to qualify them to take part in the upcoming Sydney Olympics. We think this is an ambitious step in the improving of the sports situation in our country. 
Q: What about junior players? Do you think enough attention is paid to the juniors? 
A: The junior player is the future champion. Within the YOC plan, we are doing what we can to provide juniors with every possible care. To this end, a special technical committee will carry on field visits to get acquainted with the talented juniors who show special skills within the local competitions. Based on these visits, we will be able to set up a time-limit training program for the distinguished players so as to qualify them for the international competitions. 
Q: You know that without a good coach we cannot have good players. But at the present time, coaches are greatly neglected. Your comment? 
A: Sine 1995, the YOC has been offering qualifying and training programs for the local coaches. These programs are financed by the International Olympic Solidarity. So far, results have been great.