Not fewer than one hundred and fifteen athletes set to represent Nigeria at the 2014 African Youth Games (AYC) which will begin from 22nd to 31st May at Gaborone, capital city of Botswana.
The athletes are expected to participate in the following 16 different sports namely; Athletics, Badminton, Taekwondo, Boxing, Rowling, Canoeing, Golf, Judo, Karate, Table Tennis, Tennis, Weightlifting, Cycling, Swimming, Volleyball and Football. By Albert Akota
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” said the Minister.
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.
“As Ambassadors, the expectations are high, the image of the country rest upon your shoulders not only to double the feat at the inaugural edition but also to represent the nation fairly by shunning youthful vices capable of disparaging the country’s image”.
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.
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.
2, 500 athletes from 54 countries are expected to compete in the games.