The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Barrister Solomon Dalung has directed the sports ministry to include canoeing and Kayaking as a compulsory sports at the 2020 National Sports Festival billed for Edo state.
The 20th edition of the national sports festivals is scheduled to run from March 22nd to April 1st 2020 in the ancient Benin City, Edo state.
Dalung made the pronouncement yesterday in his office while the receiving Team Nigeria to the 2019 Open International Canoe Sprint Championship Bhopal, In India where the team won a total of 4 medals, 1gold and 3 bronze medals respectively.
The sports minister assured federation led by the Real Admiral Festus Porbeni, Rtd that the sport will be made compulsory at the 20th edition NSF while commending the federation for their laudable achievement so far.
“The Rowing and Canoeing federation is relatively new in the country,introduced in 1995 and I am proud to admit it’s one of the fastest developing sports in Nigeria”he said.
2018 Youth Olympics Games in Argentina where Nigeria was ranked number 7 and 8 in the world
“I can assure you that the sports will be a compulsory sports in the national sports festival, Also I urged the federation to remain focused and determined in qualification for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games “
Dalung also promised the ministry’s support to the athletes by creating the right environment for success
In his reaction, President of the Nigeria Rowing, Canoe and Sailing Federation (NRCSF) Real Admiral Festus Porbeni, Rtd thanked the sport minister for the giant step to develop the sports in the country.
“We appreciate all the efforts of the sports ministry in developing the sports, I also want to appeal for the ministry to approve all outstanding proposals of the federation”. he said
He further pledged to grow young athletes and to fly the country’s flag at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.