By Peter Usman://
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has declared the Second Edition of the National Para Games opened, marking the commencement of an inspiring showcase of resilience, determination and extraordinary sporting talent in the country
At the ceremony held on Friday, 8 December, 2023 at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja, the President stated that the Games stand as a beacon of empowerment and encouragement for athletes with disabilities to pursue their passion for sports at a competitive level.
Represented by the Minister of Sports Development Senator John Owan Enoh, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu said that the National Para Games will not only foster inclusivity in Sports, but that it is also a testament of government’s determination and support for athletes with disabilities to showcase and excel in their various fields of sporting endeavour in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present administration.
While acknowledging the pivotal role such initiatives play in fostering unity, peace and stability in Nigeria, the President informed that government will continue to ensure inclusivity in sports, provide equal opportunities for all athletes to excel and represent their states and the nation with pride.
He expressed admiration for the dedication and perseverance exhibited by the para-athletes, commending their courage and tenacity in overcoming challenges to participate in this prestigious event.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh has assured that he will continue to provide the desired leadership to ensure the development of Sports in the country in line with the policy thrust of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu -led Administration.
Senator Owan Enoh gave the assurance while answering questions from newsmen at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja shortly after the opening ceremony of the Second Edition of the National Para Games.
He explained that the Second Edition of the Games encompasses a diverse range of sporting disciplines, offering not only a platform for para-athletes to showcase their prowess in various events but more importantly provide an avenue for talent hunt, athletes that will represent Nigeria during international competitions.
The Minister added that the Games aims further at fostering healthy competition as well as to promote awareness and understanding of the capabilities of athletes with disabilities.
He called on sports loving Nigerians, relevant stakeholders in the industry as well as private and corporate organisations to join hands with the Federal Government in its avowed determination to ensure the development of Sports in the country in line with global best practices.
Dignitaries at the opening ceremony included the Minister of State, for Youth Development, Ayodele Olawande, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Special Needs and Equal Opportunities, Honourable Mohammed Abba Isa, the Directors of the Ministry and other sports directors from various states.
About 3000 athletes and officials from the 36 states of the Federation, including the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, are expected to participate in this year’s competition.