*Calls for adequate preparation towards success in Paris
In a bid to elevate Nigeria’s presence and performance at the upcoming 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France, the Hon. Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, has issued a compelling call to the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) to push the boundaries of their preparations.
The Minister made the call during a meeting with the Executive Board of the NOC, led by its President, Engr. Habu Gumel at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
Senator Owan Enoh emphasized that early, robust preparations are not just essential but pivotal to the success of the nation’s athletes in their respective sporting disciplines. Furthermore, he underscored that such meticulous preparation could significantly enhance Nigeria’s chances of clinching medals at international competitions.
“I want to challenge you to do more, and go farther than you have gone,” the Minister said. Beyond the grants,and training programmes, let our performances in the various sporting events be glamorous.”
“I want to charge the NOC to spare no effort in terms of Team Nigeria’s preparations, to assure the country of a better performance. I am glad that the NOC executive board is made up of executives of the various sporting federations. While the Olympic Qualifiers are still running, I look forward to the completion of the phase, so we can have a briefing with the different sports and the number of athletes we are taking to Paris.”
He added that participation at the Olympics Games should not just be for the fun of it, but should be a means to an end (performances and results).
“Gone are the days where we are told the fun is in the participation,” the Minister said. “Sports has become a major weapon in the international diplomacy of countries. There is a sense of pride that comes with making podium appearances at international competitions.”
Reflecting on the Government’s commitment to the development of sports, the Minister conveyed the desire of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration to reshape sports from a recreational activity into a thriving industry.
This transformation aims to make sports a contributor of the nation’s GDP, create employment opportunities for Nigeria’s burgeoning youth population, alleviate poverty, and foster peace and unity throughout the nation.
Highlighting the unifying power of sports in Nigeria, Senator Owan Enoh reiterated the government’s unwavering commitment to developing the sector to strengthen national unity and enhance the overall well-being of the nation.
Senator Owan Enoh concluded by reminding the Committee of the necessity for clean participation by Nigeria’s athletes during the competition, reiterating the government’s zero-tolerance policy regarding doping cases during the Games and beyond.
In his remarks, the President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Engr. Habu Ahmed Gumel, appreciated the Minister for being proactive and progressive in his first few months in office, which he described as clear pointers that this administration will chart a new course for Nigerian sports.
Engr. Gumel lauded the Minister’s proactive and progressive steps taken within his first few months in office , expressing confidence that these steps are indicative of a tenure poised to steer Nigerian sports in a new and promising direction.
He assured that the NOC, as a partner with the Ministry of Sports Development, is steadfast in its commitment to delivering value, particularly in terms of capacity building to support sports federation’s administrative and technical structures, aiming to elevate Nigeria to a prominent position among sporting nations.
The 2024 Olympic Games will take place in Paris between July 26 – August 11 2024, while the Paralympic Games will be held from August 28 September 8, 2024.