The need for a formalized training of coaches arose after Nigeria's participation in the Olympic Games in 1952, however there was no tangible progress, until a decisive step was taken towards harmonizing the various sporadic coaching clinics all over Nigeria.


In November 1972, the Executive Committee of the National Sports Commission (NSC) officially endorsed the establishment of an Institute for the training of coaches, sports organizers and other sports functionaries. A technical sub-committee was set up to look into the training programmes of East European countries and other aspects that were influencing the progress recorded by these countries in sports. Consequently an agreement was reached with the government of Germany on technical co-operation. Top Physical and Health Education professionals from Nigerian Universities as well as National and State coaches in various sports were invited to Lagos to draw up a coaching programme for the country. The exercise was later concluded at the University of Ife, (now Obafemi Awolowo University). That marked the beginning of pilot courses organized under the auspices of the National Institute for Sports (NIS) in three centres namely the Universities of Ife and Ibadan as well as Ogbe Stadium, Benin.


Early in 1976, two German experts: Mr. Hoerst Beyer and Professor H. Dubberke were sent to Nigeria. These experts together with Mr. Heinze Marotzke, another German expert who was already in the country, and Dr. Awoture Eleyae, the then Principal of the Institute, reviewed the NIS’s curriculum. At that time, the construction work on NIS building had just started. In 1987, the then Minister for Sports, Air Vice Marshall Bayo Lawal (Rtd) set up a panel to look into the NIS challenges and make suggestions for improvement. The report and recommendations of the panel submitted in 1988 gave birth to the expanded curricular to a uniform period of 9 months for all courses and the administrative change in the headship from Principal to Director.


By May, 2002, there was need for a review of the 1988 report and recommendation, in order to meet the accreditation requirements. The general observations and findings of the Expert Assessors’ necessitated holistic review of the curriculum and a total change in entry qualification, duration and mode of studies and content/syllabus. The Assessors’ recommendation which was adopted by Council, restructured the initial course duration to 12 months, and 24 months for Diploma and Higher Diploma courses respectively.


The Institute bilateral relationship with Australia government in (2001 – 2002), brought about the establishment of Athlete Development Centre. Hence, the National Institute for Sports is divided into two arms. The Education Arm and the Athlete Development Centre. The Education Centre which is Headquarter based in Lagos is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring continuous quality sport manpower development while the Abuja Centre is solely meant to charged to discover, harness, nurture young talented Athletes into high performing Elite Athlete.




In July 1992, autonomy was granted the Institute under Decree No. 31. A Governing Council of 14 members chaired by Chief Ebun A. Faturoti was appointed for the Institute in August, 1993. Following the Decree on dissolution of Boards of Parastatals, in August 1994, by the Federal Military Government, the Council was dissolved. Between 2001 and 2015, the Institute has witnessed the composition of four (4) Governing Councils. These Councils were headed by Chief Segun Odegbami (MON); Chief Valentine Ozigboh; Major General Lawrence Onoja (Rtd); and Col. I. I. Enonche (Rtd), Mni respectively.


The Institute currently exists as a Parastatal of the Ministry of Youths and Sports.




In pursuant of the advancement of learning in specialized areas of Sports Development including Management, the objectives of the Institute include:

  1. Conducting specialized professional coaching courses and research at various levels of sports.
  2. Running courses for top-level sports policy makers and executors.
  3. Conducting seminars, workshops, conferences and other intensive programmes for sports administrators, coaches and other professionals.
  4. Providing adequate manpower for the advancement of knowledge and skill in sports, disseminating by way of learned publications, the academic activities of the Institute, providing programme of activities towards the full development of the minds and Bodies of sportsmen/women.
  5. Awarding certificates/diplomas to those who participate in and attain satisfactory standards in any of the approved courses by the Institute.
  6. Testing, assessing and preparing national athletes in camp for competitions.



At present the Institute consists of the following Departments:

  1. Directorate
  2. General Administration
  3. Coaching and Training Department
  4. Sports Management Department
  5. Research and Sports Science Department
  6. Library and General Studies Department
  7. Bursary