The Nigerian Army Inter-Formation Platoon Combat Swimming Championship has opened on Monday with 238 athletes participating.
The News Agency of Nigerian (NAN) reports that the five-day championship is holding at the Hamdala Hotel swimming pool in Kaduna.The athletes are drawn from Army 1 Division, 2 Division, 3 Division, 6 Division, 81 Division, 82 Division and Army Headquarters Garrison.The Chief of Army Staff, Lt -Gen Faruk Yahaya, represented by Commander Nigerian Army Infantry Corps, Maj-Gen Victor Ezugwu, declared the championship open.He said it was organisedto bring out the soldiering skills among the participants and develop their physical and mental endurance.“It is to bring realism and relevance to our training with a view to encapsulating the challenges our troops are facing in the various operating environments.“Also the need to reinforce ongoing efforts for the review of extant approach to fitness training in formations, units and other NA establishments.“
It is also to create the enabling environment for the display of military camaraderie and to underscore my desire for cooperation as well as unity of efforts in the conduct of training for operations,” Yahaya said.According to him, the combat swimming championship is not only aimed at moving sporting activities in the Army from the realm of sports, but also to the thresholds of training for combat operations.“I have no doubt that this championship will enhance the physical and mental endurance of the participants.“While it is important to earn laurels for your various formations, I enjoin you the participants to compete with good sense of sportsmanship and comradeship in order to achieve the aim of the championship.“
For the judges, I encourage you to be fair and firm in the discharge of your tasks,” the Army chief added.Yahaya reassured that the Armywould continue to provide all necessary support required for training of personnel in order to attain high level of proficiency.Earlier, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Division Kaduna, Maj.-Gen Kabir Mukhtar,said the current security challenges in the country havebrought to fore the need to continuously reinvigorate training and operations, especially physical and leadership skills.
The GOC was represented by Commandar 1 Division Garrisson, Brig.-Gen Uriah Opune.(NAN).