By Wale Joseph, Lagos
The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) has applauded the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare on his outstanding achievements within the first six months of his tenure in office.
Recounting the giant strides of the Minister, the President of Nigeria Olympic Committee and member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Engr. Habu Gumel, commended the Minister on his visionary leadership which has helped in repositioning Nigerian sports.
These include the, “Adoption Campaign” which has paved the way for corporate sector engagement in providing support to Nigerian athletes, teams and sports facilities maintenance.
“The “Adopt an Athlete Campaign” has provided a platform for some elite Nigerian athletes to receive funding from the organizations and individuals that adopted them, which has greatly enhanced their training and preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, that was recently postponed to 2021.
“The Minister was instrumental to the speedy completion of the new headquarters building of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), which then led to the visit of the President of International Olympic Committee, His Excellency, Dr. Thomas Bach to Nigeria in November 2019 to commission the edifice. The new ANOCA Secretariat is now the pride of African sports and has elevated the status of Abuja as Olympic Capital of Africa.
“The Minister has been passionate and ensured the participation of Nigerian athletes and teams in Olympic Qualification championships which has enabled us to secure the qualification places that we currently have. With the rescheduling of the Olympic Games, we still have some windows of opportunities to qualify more athletes,” Engr. Gumel highlighted.
”Even before the Olympic Games was shifted, the Nigeria Olympic Committee, through the commitment of the Minister, has complied with all the timelines established by the Organising Committee and effected the required deposit payments. Also, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has secured the Pre-Games Training Camps in Kisarazu and Oyama City in Japan, where Nigerian athletes will acclimatize and conduct their final training before moving to the Olympic Games Village. Invariably, the working relationship between the Nigeria Olympic Committee and the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has been most cordial, under the administration of Mr. Sunday Dare, ” the NOC President concluded.