Nigeria’s Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has rescinded its decision to delist Para sports among events to be competed in the 2022 National Sports Festival, NSF.
The Sports Festival will hold between November 28 and December 10 in Asaba, Delta State.
In a press statement signed by Mr Mohammed Manga, Director, Press and Public Relations, noted that the decision to relist para sports was arrived at during a virtual meeting of the National Sports Council.
“Sequel to the Virtual Meeting of the National Council on Sports held on Wednesday, October 19, 2022, where the decision was taken to remove Para Sports from the 21st NSF, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, in consultation with Stakeholders in Sports hereby relists the following Para Sports to the National Sports Festival in Delta State: Para Athletics, Para Table Tennis, Para Powerlifting and Deaf Sports of (Athletics and Table Tennis).
However, the Ministry wishes to state that their events will be limited to where Nigeria has competitive advantages.
“This decision was taken in the overall interest of Sports Development in Nigeria, as the National Sports Festival has become the Flagship Games for the discovery, grooming and empowerment of our youth athletes.”
The Ministry “condemned” the behaviour of some “misguided athletes” who engaged in unwarranted acts of protests and blackmail without recourse to due process.
“These actions which led to the disturbance of public peace and the good image of Sportsmen and women, especially with the recent public acceptance of the superlative performance of Team Nigeria at the 2022 Commonwealth Games is a breach of our Sports Ethical Code.
“The Ministry wishes to state further that it will apply the rules in dealing with such acts in due course. Athletes must learn to follow the due process laid down for resolving issues.
“The facts about this administration’s commitment to the upliftment of the Para Athletes and Parasports are in the public domain, well documented.
Para sports has been one of the country’s forte during international competitions like the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.
The National Sports Festival was earlier scheduled to hold between November 2nd and 16th 2022 but had to be postponed as construction work on the facilities to be used had not been concluded.
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Izuchukwu Okosi is a Nigerian sports and entertainment journalist with two decades of experience in the media industry having begun his media journey in 2002 as an intern at Mundial Sports International (MSI) and Africa Independent Television (AIT), owners of Daar Communications Plc.
In October 2004, Okosi joined Complete Communications Limited, publishers of Complete Sports newspaper and Complete Football magazine as a reporter and later script writer for the Complete Sports studio.
He worked there for 13 years until October 2017.
Okosi also worked various times as Correspondent, Content creator and Editor at Sports Market International Magazine, Opera News, All Nigeria Soccer Media and Iconic Media Watch.
He also undertook freelance writing gigs for some local and international organizations.
Okosi is a member of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Association of Voiceover Artistes of Nigeria (AVOA), Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
He has been part of cast in some Nollywood movies and radio dramas including Blood Money 2, Scores To Settle, Dead End 2, Another Campus Tale and Battle Line.
Aside mainstream media and the entertainment industry, he has interests in scouting/unearthing of talents in the sports and creative sectors, exports business and property development.