Arrangement has been concluded for the successful hosting of the Maiden edition of the National Para-Sports Festival in Abuja from April 9-15, 2022, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare has indicated.
Director Press and Public Relations, Mohammed Manga in a statement issued on Monday quoted Dare to have stated that the maiden edition of the Para-Sports Games is aimed at giving People Living With Disability (PLWD) in sports a sense of belonging and opportunity to exhibit all their potentials.
Speaking through the Director, National Sports Festival and Para-Sports Department of the Ministry, Mr Peter Nelson, the Minister started further that it is in line with the Buhari administration’s policy of inclusion.
He said it is their determination that Para-Sports are given the same opportunity as their able bodied counterparts that has promoted the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, to approve the establishment of the National Sports Festival and Para-Sports Department.
According to him, “This will facilitate the development of Para-Sports in Nigeria, give room for more Para-Sports to thrive, give opportunity for young Athletes to exhibit their talents as well as explore other Para-Sports that have not had the opportunity to feature in major sporting events for possible medal haul during tournaments.”
He explained that Para-Sports have produced the highest number of medals in the Paralympic Games for the Country since Nigeria started participating in the Games.
He explained further saying “This has positively portrayed Nigeria’s image in the global stage and also made her a household name when it comes to sports like Para-Powerlifting”
Fifteen Para-Sports are expected to participate in the median edition of the Festival, which includes: Para-Powerlifting, Para-Athletics, Para-Table Tennis, Deaf Sports, Para-Soccer, Wheel Chair Tennis, Para-Badminton, Para-Canoe, Sitting Volleyball, Wheel Chair B/Ball, Amputee Football, Para-Swimming, Para-Taekwondo, and Para-Shooting.
FG to partner with Spain for sports development
In its bid to ensure that the huge sporting potentials are tapped for socio-economic growth and development of the nation, the Federal Government has expressed its desire to collaborate with Spain and other countries of the world in the field of sports.
The Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh spoke in Abuja when he received the Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Juan Ignacio Sell
Director of Press and Public Relations Mohammed Manga quote him to have stated that Spain was undoubtedly a renowned country in the field of sports, especially its Football League, the Spanish La Liga, a feat which the present administration is interested in replicating in the country.
Sports diplomacy, Enoh added, has become a very potent weapon in global diplomacy, and the President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration, have recognised Nigeria’s huge sporting potentials.
According to him, that explains why he created the Ministry of Sports Development with a mandate to work assiduously towards ensuring that the potentials are harvested and adequately deployed.
This he said is not only to enable the country join the comity of sporting nations of the world but also provide for job creation, poverty alleviation, security and inclusiveness through women participation in sports
“The potentials of sports in Nigeria is huge, the present administration intends to turn this potential to achievements, to go beyond the world of potentials and also make Nigeria become a renowned country in the field of sports”, he said
The Minister who was earlier presented with a copy of an MoU that was signed by the previous administration, assured the Spanish Ambassador of Federal Government’s determination to collabobate with other nations of the world, especially in the area of sports development.
He explained that the resolutions contained in the MoU will be looked at so as to identify areas of mutual benefit to both nations
Speaking earlier, the Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency,Juan Ignacio Sell indicated that he was in the Ministry to congratulate the Minister on his appointment and to further seek for collaboration with Nigeria in the field of sports.
According to him, Nigeria is a country that has high potentials in sports that can be harnessed and if adequately tapped, the country will join the commity of sporting nations
He expressed the willingness of his country to collaborate with Nigeria, not only to harness its sporting potentials but also to turn them into achievements for the benefit of both countries
Enoh urges Sports Federations to be result driven
The minister of sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh has called on Sports Federations in the country to be result oriented hunting for talents at the grassroots while helping current elite competitors strive to raise the nation’s flag high through podium fniishes in all competitions.
Director Press and Public Relations Mohammed Manga in a statement quoted the minister to have made the call on Wednesday in his office at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja when he engaged the Presidents and Secretaries of National Sports Federations in an interactive session.
Enoh stated that the meeting was aimed at providing him with the opportunity to holistically assess the state of affairs of all Federations with a view to systematically addressing them for the development of the sector.
He said, the Ministry under his watch, will continue to play its statutory, supervisory and advisory roles on all sports Federations in the country in order to ensure proper governance as well as oversight on the plans each Federation executes.
The Minister charged them to show more commitment, passion and be focused in their activities so as to ensure success in their fields of sporting endeavours in line with the policy thrust of the present administration
While urging them to place the interest of the country above their personal interests, Senator Owan Enoh assured that government will focus on turning the tide to place less emphasis on positions and offices but instead on athletes’ welfare, infrastructure upgrade and development of the sector, among others.
The Minister who described the Federations as critical stakehokders in the industry, called on them to join hands with the federal government to ensure the development of the sector
Earlier in his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Sports Development, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar stated that the meeting was conveyed to provide an opportunity to interact and brainstorm on issues that bother on efficiency and effectiveness of the Federations with a view to finding solutions administratively for them.
He assured that the Ministry will continue to create an enabling environment for the implementation of the initiatives, policies, programmes and projects of government for the empowerment of the teeming Nigerian youth through sports, thereby alleviating poverty, improving security and also contributing to the economic growth and development of the nation.
Enoh commends athletes forclinching medals at first African Paragames
The Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh has congratulated Team Nigeria for again, making the nation proud by clinching two medals in the women’s wheel chair tennis, singles and doubles categories.
A statement by thr director of Press and Public Relations Mohammed Manga quoted Senator Owan Enoh, to have stated in his message to the athletes and officials that Nigeria was able to join 20 other countries to compete for laurels at the Games despite dwindling resources which he said had demonstrated the commitment of President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration to poverty alleviation and empowerment of people living with disabilities through sports.
He explained that the participation of Team Nigeria at the Competition which is the first of its kind, held after over three and half decades of the establishment of the African Sports Confederation of the Disabled/African Paralympic Committee (AfPC), will in addition, afford the nation’s Para Athletes an opportunity to experience a Multi-Para Sporting event on the African Continent.
According to him the Competition, with about 6000 participants, will, among others, serve as a Catalyst for further development and promotion of Para-Sports in Africa
He reiterated the commitment of the present administration’s resolve to ensuring the creation of an enabling environment for the athletes and in particular, athletes living with disabilities in the country, not only to afford them the opportunity to showcase their sporting talents across the globe but also to raise the nation’s flag high through podium finishes at all international competitions.
Senator Enoh noted that although, Team Nigeria had won only two medals so far at the ongoing competition, Nigerians will ever remain grateful to them for their patriotism, especially considering their excellent performances in other international competitions in the near past.
He added that as the Minister of Sports Development, he has
passionate support for Para-Sports, and thus will not live any stone unturned in ensuring that under his watch, the existing medium already created and dedicated to coordinate, promote and manage the development of Para – Sports in Nigeria is strengthened for better performance.
This, he said, will make it possible to utilize Para-Sports as a veritable tool for accelerated social integration and inclusion of persons living with disabilities, in line with the policy thrust of the present administration.
The Minister, therefore, called on relevant stakeholders in the industry as well as sports loving Nigerians to lend their support, especially towards the development of Para-Sports in the country with a view to also giving the athletes, a sense of belonging
Team Nigeria is expected back from the 10-day event on Wednesday 13, September
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