By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Nigerian Army team has won seven gold and two silver medals in the just concluded 2022 Armed Forces Inter-Service Sports Competition.
The Army secured the first position having won the highest number of laurels in different games of the competition.
The three services, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Air Force competed for five sports in Basketball, Cross-Country, Taekwondo and Volleyball in men and women category but only men competed in football.
The army teams won gold medals in basket ball (female), cross-country (male and female), volley ball (male and female) and taekwondo (male and female) as well as silver medals in basket ball (male) and football (male).
Also; the Nigerian Air Force won gold medals in basket ball (male) and football (male) with three silva and four bronze medals while the Navy won four silva and five bronze medals.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, the Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi commended the outstanding performances displayed by the atheletes.
Represented by the Director, Army Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Mr Sunday Attach, the minister said the competition had engendered unity and comradeship among the competing services personnel.
He said the objective of fostering good working relationship between the services had been achieved notwithstanding the physical and mental fatigue that the championship might have exerted on the athletes.
“I, therefore, commend all the competing athletes for the efforts they have put into winning laurels for their various Armed Services.
“Specifically, I congratulate the athletes that have distinguished themselves by winning individual prizes during this sports competition.
“Let me once again assure our hardworking service personnel of the commitment of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, at ensuring their welfare is adequately catered for.
“Additionally, the provision of the enabling environment required for our service personnel to function effectively and professionally remains undented.
“I, therefore, urge you all not to rest on your oars as you remain loyal, patriotic
and committed to your oath of allegiance to defend the territorial integrity of our dear nation, Nigeria,” he said.
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor said the competition was designed to sharpen the physical fitness, mental alertness and skills of the military personnel essential for combat readiness in the light of current security imperatives.
Represented by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, Irabor said the competition also provided opportunity for participating teams from the three services to compete for laurels and display comraderie and team spirit.
According to him, the level of sportsmanship exhibited during this competition further gives credence to the premium placed on sports by the AFN and efforts towards enhancing the combat readiness of its personnel.
He said the armed forces had continued to evolve joint training with emphasis placed on physical training and sports in general.
“It is my belief therefore, that continuity and sustainability of this level of training and competition, coupled with ongoing reequipping of the force forces will develop the required capacity to overcome the security challenges that confront us today and in the future.
“Accordingly, as we draw the curtains on the 2022 Armed Forces Inter-Service Sports Competition, I will like to encourage everyone to sustain one form of sports or the other as the resultant effects are enormous.
“It is on this note that I congratulate everyone that participated and particularly for those that won medals.
“It is one thing to win medals and another to hold unto the medals won.
“I will, therefore, encourage you to hold unto these medals as well as improve on winning more medals in subsequent competitions and games particularly at the forthcoming World Military Sports Championship in Beja, Portugal,” he said. (NAN)