Dalung hails Nigerian Army sports festival
The Youth and Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung has congratulated the Nigerian Army for a successful hosting of the Nigerian Army Sports Festival NASFEST.
At the closing ceremony held yesterday at the main bowl of the National Stadium Abuja, the Minister praised the leadership of the Nigerian Army under the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen TY Burattai for resuscitating the sports festival after seven years due to insecurity caused by insurgency.
“Good leadership is key and fundamental to development. I want to congratulate the Nigerian Army and the athletes for the talents, skills and determination exhibited here. I have no doubt that the talents exhibited here only need little touch for us to have Olympic materials. I want to charge you all to remain dedicated and committed to our country.”
Dalung pledged his ministry’s determination to collaborate with the Nigerian Army to develop sports in the country and also promised to communicate to President Muhammadu Buhari, a report of the Army games.
Earlier, the President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee Habu Gumel highlighted the role of the Nigerian Army in producing athletes for the All Africa Games, Commonwealth Games, the Olympics and other international sporting competitions.
“You will recall the performance of the late Sunday Bada, the Policeman, Chioma Ajunwa who won gold at the 1996 Olympic Games and many others. This festival is important to us and must continue, not only the Army but the Navy, Air force, Police and the para military so that we’ll continue to make our country proud. There is a collaboration between this sports festival of the Nigerian Army and our sports federations. We are providing the technical assistance so that they can fish out the outstanding athletes for invitation to camp.
In his closing remarks, Chairman of the Central Organizing Committee of the games, Major General John C Malu described the 2016 edition as a success following the collaboration between the Nigerian Army, Ministry of Youth and Sports, federations and the media.
He said that only 6 Divisions were able to participate in this year’s edition and hoped in 2018, all the Divisions will participate.
“We have 8 divisions in the Army. Only 6 took part because 7 and 8 Divisions are seriously engaged in the fight against insurgency in the country so they were excused. But the remaining Divisions 1, 2, 81, 82, 3 Divisions and Army Headquarter Garrison all participated with all the formations fully represented.”
He concluded that previous army records that were set 7 years ago were broken while new ones were set by participating athletes from the 6 Divisions present.
At the end of the weeklong event, 1 division with a total of 45 gold, 32 silver and 41 bronze medals were crowned champions ahead of Army Headquarter Garrison with 32 gold, 31 silver and 40 bronze medals.
81 Division came 3rd with 31 gold, 26 silver and 37 bronze while 2 and 82 Divisions came 4th and 5th respectively.
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