.as Lions Club pledged more support for physically challenged
By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja and Olakiitan Victor in Ado Ekiti
The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, yesterday described the Nigerian contingent to the Rio Paralympics in Brazil as true heroes, whom he said gave their best to their fatherland.
He said with 12 medals, including two gold medals, and some world record-breaking performance, the team had not only put up its best performance ever by any Nigerian contingent to the paralympics, but had also shown that ability was in the mind.
Ekweremadu, in his congratulatory message to Team Nigeria signed by his Special Adviser, Media, Uche Anichukwu, called on other Nigerian athletes and national teams to emulate the exceptional spirit exhibited by the Paralympians.
He said: “I salute Team Nigeria for their patriotism and the sheer willpower exhibited. This will no doubt lift the spirit of the nation at this difficulty time. It is my hope that their compatriots who will fly the Nigerian flag at future competitions will imbibe their determination, for they have shown that ability is in the mind.It is also my hope that we learn the lesson as a nation to give everyone and every constituent part the opportunity to contribute to national development.”
While calling on both the federal government and Nigerians to accord the team a heroic reception and accordingly reward them, Ekweremadu reiterated the need for drastic and urgent steps to reposition the nation’s sports sector. He also emphasised the need to revive school sporting competitions with a view to grooming future champions.
In a related development, the Lions Club International,has urged government and well-meaning Nigerians to contribute to development of untapped talents at the grassroots..
Lions Club District 404B 2 gave the advice during the Region 10 (Ekiti Axis) quarterly sports activities, organised to encourage members to engage in sporting games that will elongate their lifespan .
The immediate past President of Ado-Ekiti Central Lions’ Club, Lions Taiwo Odebunmi ,who coordinated the committee for the sports programme held at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado-Ekiti at the weekend said: “We discover that many Lions Club members are hard working, some are civil servants, some are private businessmen who spend a lot of time in office, sitting down , doing a lot of businesses and do not have time to loosen up.
“We discover that many of the causes of deaths is hypertension and we don’t want any of our members to suffer such because we need them. The longer they live, the better for our club, the better for the less privileged.
” This is why our district lion Governor, Lion Adewunmi, has decided that during this year, we will engage our people in sporting activities so that they can improve their health. So, we chose to organize the sporting activities on quarterly.
” We have organised sports contests among youths in schools across Ekiti, but what we are doing today is the maiden edition of the sports involving Lions in the state.
FINAL MEDALS TABLE
Gold Silver Bronze
China 107 81 51
Great Britain 64 39 44
Ukraine 41 37 39
United States 40 44 31
(17)Nigeria 8 2 2