The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo, on Monday said that no fewer than 1,820 athletes and officials would be participating at the 12th edition of the Nigerian Navy (NN) Games that would be holding in Lagos State.
Gambo said the games would hold from Sept. 8 to Sept. 13 at the Nigerian Navy Sports Complex, Navy Town, Ojo; the Teslim Balogun Stadium and other venues in Lagos and would feature 22 events.
The CNS was represented by the Chief of Administration, Navy Headquarters, Rear Adm. Jason Gbassa.
According to Gambo, athletes from six commands; the Naval Headquarters Command, the Western Naval Command, the Eastern Naval Command, the Logistics Command, the Naval Training Command and the Central Naval Command will participate in the games.
“Sports and physical training have always been a bedrock of the Nigerian Navy’s daily mental and physical routine for service ashore and at sea.
“It is for this reason and the benefits derivable from participation in sports that the Nigerian Navy pays particular attention to daily routine and programmed periodic sports engagements like the NN Games.
“The organisation of sports such as the Nigerian Navy Games also avails the Navy the opportunity to identify and develop talents that will proudly represent our nation in national and international competitions in future,” he said.
The CNS said that the Nigerian Navy usually organised sporting events all year round to keep its athletes and personnel in good physical and mental conditions aside the biennial games.
“The Nigerian Navy also participates in National Sports Federations organised sporting events by releasing its athletes to participate and representing their various states at such.
“The Nigerian Navy has also consistently, over the years, sponsored competitions at the national level around the country.
“Competitions such as; the CNS National Open Swimming Championship and the Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria, and the CNS U-17 Football Championship are parts of the Nigerian Navy sponsored competitions,” he said.
Gambo said that the Nigerian Navy recently established its polo team and within seven months, won trophies at the NN 66th Anniversary Polo Tournament and the TY Danjuma Cup, both held in Port Harcourt.
“The team also came second at the Lagos International Polo Tournament. Also, the Nigerian Navy’s Admiralty Football Club is at present placed second in the Nationwide League One Football Competition in Lagos State.
“Additionally, NN female volleyball team, the CNS Spikers, had the honour of representing the nation at the last African Women Volleyball Championship which held in Tunisia in May.
“The team came 10th out of 18 teams; a promising result, one would say, for a team that just joined the local league back at home,” the CNS said.
He noted that the Nigerian Navy’s active involvement in sports was not a one-off thing but had a history.
“It will be recalled that the first Nigerian Olympic medal (Bronze) was won by Nojim Maiyegun, a Nigerian Naval officer.
“The late Commander Bellah (a hurdler) was a member of the Nigerian contingent to the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in Australia.
“Thus, Nigerian Navy athletes have consistently been participating in national and international sporting activities,” he said.
Gambo said that the Nigerian Navy had remained steadfast in contributing its bit to the development of sports in the country.
He added that the Nigerian Navy would use the opportunity of the upcoming games to inaugurate the new Nigerian Navy Sports Complex in Navy Town.
“The ultra modern sports complex is equipped with an indoor sports hall, a gymnasium and a swimming pool.
“The complex also has a football pitch with a standard pavilion, outdoor courts for handball, volleyball and basketball as well as tracks for athletics,” the CNS said.