The Federal Government has called on Directors of Sports of the 36 States of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja to ensure the successful hosting of the maiden edition of the National Para Sports Festival scheduled for April 9 – 16, 2022 in Abuja.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare made the call at his office at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja during a meeting with the Directors of Sports of the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, the Minister said that the Para-Sports Festival was aimed at giving People Living With Disability (PLWD) in sports, a sense of belonging and an opportunity to exhibit all their potentials.
He added that the Festival will also afford them the same opportunity as their able bodied counterparts to strive for excellence in the field of sports.
According to him, the competition will create an opportunity for development of Para-Sports in Nigeria as well as contribute to the socio-economic growth of the country.
Dare explained further that with Nigeria’s excellent performances in international Para-Sports events, People Living With Disability must be given an opportunity to continually showcase their talents through the creation of an enabling environment for sporting competitions.
“With Nigeria winning a total of 36 gold medals, 18 silver medals and 16 bronze medals at the Paralympic Games from 1992 till date, Para-athletes must be given the platform to hone their skills for the next generation of talents, to find fulfillment through games like these.
“Let me also inform you that the Games will feature para-athletes from all around Nigeria, as various events will be held across no less than 15 para-sports”, he said.
The Minister who led the Directors of Sports in the States on the tour of facilities for the hosting of the Games therefore called on them to come up with effective modalities that will ensure the success of the forthcoming Para-Games.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Director, National Sports Festival and Para-Sports Department of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Peter Nelson, assured that the Committee of State Directors of Sports will bring their wealth of experience towards ensuring the successful hosting of the Games.