Team Nasarawa Intensifies Preparations For National Sports Festival
By Amina Mohammed, Lafia.
As the 21st edition of the National Sports Festival in Asaba, Delta State, draws closer, Team Nasarawa is putting every necessary modality in place to excel at the national multi-sports fiesta.
The National Sports Festival is scheduled to hold between November 28th – December 10th, in Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria.
The Nasarawa State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Lucky Yargwa, together with the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Isah Mohammed Eyah, and Directors, convened a meeting with the State’s coaches and athletes who are bound for the event at the Lafia City Stadium.
The meeting aims to focus on the level of preparation of the athletes and their coaches. After holding separate interactive sessions, Yargwa assured the intending contingent that Team Nasarawa would have nothing to worry about as the Governor, Abdullahi Sule had approved funds for the State’s participation at the biennial fiesta.
“We are here to intensify our preparations for the fast-approaching National Sports Festival to be hosted by Delta State later in the year,” Yargwa said.
“The last edition of the event was held in 2021 rather than in 2020 in Benin City, Edo State, due to the global coronavirus pandemic, and Team Nasarawa came 19th position on the final medals table, after winning twenty-two medals,” the Commissioner added.
“This year’s event comes with many features, including the participation of some foreign African countries, giving it international status. Early preparation is very paramount for our athletes and coaches as it will put them in the best shape for the Event.”
“It may interest you to know that His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr. Abdullahi Sule has graciously approved funds for our participation in the Festival. This is a huge morale booster for every member of the team as it will help us to deal with the fire-brigade approach and they have more time to fine-tune themselves before the event proper.”
“We are going to procure facilities and equipment that are up-to-date to enhance our performance, not just at the fiesta, but beyond. We will also embark on both open and closed-door campings within closed-doors the State to put our athletes in the best perspective for the event,” Yargwa said.
“We will ensure strict monitoring of our athletes during the campings so that they don’t get distracted by any influence. Also, our athletes and coaches have been told to play clean, live clean, and avoid any use of enhancing performance-substance as Nasarawa remains a state of reference and emulation by others when it comes to playing clean.”
The Commissioner added that the welfare of the State’s contingent would be given adequate attention to enhance their performance.
“Whatsoever is meant for any member of the contingent would be given to him, and by this, we are very strict,” Yargwa added. “There are also deliberate reward packages we have put in place to spur our athletes and coaches to up their game and scoop medals at the Event.”
Yargwa applauded the Governor for placing a premium on youth and sports development in the State, assuring that the timely release of funds would enable the State to surpass previous records set.
Permanent Secretary, Isah Eya, called on the athletes and their coaches to report any challenge affecting their Association for urgent attention. He stressed that the major priority at the Festival is the main actors – the assets and their coaches and that the Ministry would leave no stone unturned to ensure Team Nasarawa does well at the Event.
Some of the athletes and coaches who spoke, thanked Governor Abdullahi Sule for his unending support for sports and youth development, promising to justify the confidence reposed in them at the Sports Festival. They also appreciated the Commissioner and Ministry for working round the clock to get the best for the State.
Team Nasarawa are expected to travel with over two hundred representatives, featuring in 18 sports, including Athletics, Hockey (Male), Volleyball (Male & Female), Taekwondo, Wrestling, Boxing, Judo, Karate, Chess, Scrabble, Basketball (Female), Dart, Tennis, Cycling, Weightlifting, Kung-Fu Wushu, Handball (Male), and Table Tennis.
Over 18,000 athletes and coaches as well as more than 2,000 accompanying officials from across the States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, will participate at this year’s event, including four West African countries.
Delta State is the current defending Champions after winning the last edition, scooping a total of 384 medals, with the hosts Edo State in second position, while Bayelsa State came 3rd.