Federal Government Gives Team Nigeria Athletes Heroic Welcome

By Lekan Sowande, Abuja.

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The first batch of Team Nigeria athletes that competed at the just concluded Commonwealth Games in Birmingham have been given a heroic welcome by the Federal Government on their arrival after their successful outing.

Receiving the athletes and their officials at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare applauded the excellent performance of the Team which led to the harvest of 35 medals, lifting the country to 7th position on the medals table.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Ismaila Abubakar, the Minister expressed the joy of the entire country over their outstanding achievement, which was the first in the history of the nation

According to Abubakar, the character and discipline exhibited by the Team in Birmingham as well as the hard work and resources committed by the present administration to sports, added up to make the Team excel at the World level.

“We are proud of you. We are also ready to give you all the support needed to make you soar higher and higher” Abubakar said.

The Minister particularly thanked God for granting the athletes journey mercies back to Nigeria, while also appreciating President Muhammadu Buhari for creating the enabling environment that ensured the realisation of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Dare further thanked the top management and staff of the Ministry, the Nigeria Olympic Committee, (NOC), led by Habu Gumel as well as the coaches and officials for their commitment to the development of sports in the country.

Speaking on behalf of the athletes, the two-time Commonwealth gold medallist and Tokyo 2020 silver medalist, Blessing Oborodudu, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for all his support to the Team, describing him as the father of sports in contemporary Nigeria.

She also appreciated the Sports Minister Dare, Permanent Secretary, Ismaila Abubakar and other top management staff of the Ministry, the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) as well as their coaches for giving them the much needed support, and opportunity to do the nation proud at the Commonwealth Games.

Oborududu stated further that the athletes put in their best for the Nation because of the enormous encouragement of the Federal government and sports loving Nigerians, pledging that they will continue to do Nigeria proud in subsequent competitions by breaking new and enviable world records.

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