The President of the Nigeria Rowing Canoe and Sailing Federation, Admiral FBI Porbeni (Rtd) has revealed that the Federation will be making its debut at the forthcoming National Youth Games in Ilorin, Kwara State holding from the 24th to 30th of September.
Buoyed by the recent qualification of Jonathan Akinyemi for the Olympics and the recent performance of Chierika Ukogu at the Rio 2016 games, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports in conjunction with the Federation has decided to go to the grassroots to unearth raw talents to represent Nigeria in future.
Speaking over the recent development, an excited Admiral Porbeni said, “This will mark a new dawn for the Federation and the Country at large as we count down to Tokyo 2020 Olympics. With the abundant aquatic presence in Nigeria, the Country cannot afford not to harness the talents and turn them into future stars that can compete favourably with their counterparts at the international stage.”
Explaining further, Admiral Porbeni said the NYG is timely as it will be another avenue to select and prepare youngsters for the forthcoming Africa Youth Game in Algeria 2017.
“The Federation’s target is on creating more awareness among our youths about the sport, grassroots development and catch them young programs.”
“There is no state in Nigeria without a particular type of water, as the body in charge of Rowing, Canoe and Sailing in the most populous black nation in the world, there is a need to do more as to consolidate on the successes recorded by the 2 Nigerian participants at the 2016 Olympic games.”
In a release from the Secretariat of the Federation, about 14 states have already registered their interest to be represented at the Games alongside some U-17 athletes and 11 new athletes already undergoing a 2-week intensive training at the Nigeria Navy Sailing Club Ojo, Lagos under the watch of canoe and kayak coaches from Ogun, Plateau and Delta as help hand for the training.
On her part, the Federation Secretary General, Olubunmi Ola Oluode thanked Admiral Porbeni for his selflessness as she stated that the training, accommodation and other logistics of the athletes and coaches before and during the games is being catered for by the President.
The demonstration will take place on the 28th of September inside the University of Ilorin campus by 4pm