Sports Ministry’s National Cross Country Championships holds February 18

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As part of plans to develop long-distance race in Nigeria, Sports Minister Sunday Dare has revealed that the first National Cross Country Championship to be organised by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development will hold on February 18 in Jos, the capital of Plateau state.

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The Minister of Sports said the championship is aimed at developing long distance running in Nigeria to world class standard.

He said the championship has become necessary to enable the athletes to develop their strength and make them better runners.

“Cross country running, experts tell us, is excellent for developing strength.

“We have enormous potential to rival the east Africans and win laurels for the country at continental and international championships.

“More importantly, we want to positively engage distance runners in this country and make them earn a good living from running around the world like their east and north African counterparts,” Dare added.

Tony Osheku, has said Dare will be remembered as the first Minister of Sports in over four decades who has taken positive and proactive interest in long distance running and runners.

He also explained why cross country is a necessary start for distance runners who want to succeed on the road or the track.

“I was a strong part of the team the Minister of Sports assembled last year (2022) to map out plans on how to develop long distance running in Nigeria and I remember we had a camp for a few weeks in Jos for some of our elite distance runners.

“I cannot remember any sports minister who has shown the kind of interest and enthusiasm Dare has shown and his knowledge of the sport. It is amazing,”.

The National Cross Country championship is a 10km event and will be held at the Rhino Golf course in Jos.

JIA/Daily Trust

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