By Amaechi Agbo
The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has stated its resolve to make dambe, a traditional Hausa wrestling game a national sports.
Sunday Dare, the minister who over sees sports in the country made the promise Tuesday when he received a delegation of Dambe Sports Warriors in his office.
The minister further stated of the ministry’s resolve to create a national league that would promote and sustain the variegated interests already attached to this novel sport, both nationally and internationally.
Besides its sporting value, Dambe sport also speak positively to addressing the issue of youth restlessness by giving youths the opportunity to engage in meaningful occupation that promises competitiveness, joy and reward.
While extolling the values of Dambe Sport, Mr. Dare stated that the ministry would explore every avenue to create a local structure through a domestic League that would institutionalise, reform and expand the frontiers of our novel Dambe Sport to ECOWAS countries and globally. To actualise this vision, the Minister hinted that the Ministry would work with the Dambe Sport Association to fine tune it by building a Federation for it, with the aim of organizing competitions and tournaments across the country and plausible exports to other African countries.
Continuing, Hon. Dare enthused that as a committed advocate for promotion of Dambe Sport, averred that what was formerly fun sport would now be elevated to a a national sport that offers the youths limitless opportunities to express their boundless energy, showcase their talents and get rewarded in a competition that gives them joy, thereby reducing cases of social miscreants and vices in the country.
Earlier, the leader of delegation and Co- founder of Dambe Sport Association in the country, Mr Chidi Amyina stated that Dambe belongs to the category of combat sport, with a cultural flavour that stood the test of time, mostly in the northern part of Nigeria; but has now spread to other geo- political zones of the country. Mr Amyina admonished that Nigeria should grow and develop Dambe Sport to a level of commercialisation. He further affirmed that the Sport presently has a registered member of 1,500 fighters across the country.
Dambe is a martial art of the Hausa people. Competitors in a typical match aim to subdue each other into total submission mostly within three rounds. It often results in serious bodily injuries for the challengers such as broken jaws and ribs.