A Press Release from the Federal Ministry of Sporte- Nigeria is sending about One Hundred and Fifteen athletes to compete at the 2014 African Youth Games which is scheduled to begin from 22nd to 31st May, in Gaborone, capital city of Botswana.
This number represents a significant increase in the number of athletes, the country sent to the first edition of the games which held in Rabat, Morocco in 2010 when the number of contingent was sixty-eighty and the country won 10 medals. The 115 athletes are expected to participate in the following 16 different sports: Athletics, Badminton, Taekwondo, Boxing, Rowling, Canoeing, Golf, Judo, Karate, Table Tennis, Tennis, Weightlifting, Cycling, Swimming, Volleyball and Football. While speaking to the contingent shortly before their departure, the Minister and Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Dr. Tammy Danagogo charged them to be worthy ambassadors and sustain the level of patriotism and zeal which they had displayed throughout the training season in order to bring glory to the country.
“As ambassadors of your country, your responsibility is enormous as the hopes of 170 Million Nigerians are upon you”, the Minister said.
The Minister therefore, urged them to maximize the opportunity and redouble their efforts and win more laurels in order to prove to the rest of Africa that Nigeria is indeed the giant of Africa with the highest economy which can be translated into the sports sector.
Danagogo further said, the AYG games is a spring board to the Youths Olympic slated for China later in the year, giving the assurance that any athletes that performs well in this games will automatically represent the country in China and will be rewarded for their performance by the President.
When he was speaking on behalf of the athletes, Andong Essien, captain of Team Nigeria promised that they would be good ambassadors and come home with lots of laurels.
The high point of the occasion was the formal hand over of Team Nigeria to the President of the Nigerian Olympic Committee, Engineer Sani Ndanusa, by the Minister and the presentation of the International Olympic Committee plaque to the Minister of sports.
Those present at the occasion were Engr. Habu Gumel, IOC executive member and other Directors of the National Sports Commission.
The African Youth Games is an international multi-sport event held every four years to complement the current All-Africa Games.
The 2014 games is the 2nd edition of the African Youth Games.
Not less than 2, 500 athletes from 54 countries are expected to compete in the games.
Source: Government of Nigeria.