By Chiemelie Ezeobi
The Nigerian Navy (NN), weekend said its commitment to enhance the growth of water sports and other calibre of sporting exercises in the country was in top gear, even as it’s water sports competition kicks off today.
The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok Ette-Ibas, made this disclosure at a press briefing to kick off the annual 11th Nigerian Navy Games, of which the first arm the water sports competition will kick off first.
The CNS, who was represented by the Chief of Administration, Rear Admiral Henry Babalola, said the main games would hold from February 26, to March 11, 2017 in Uyo, while the water events of the competition would hold from February 6, to February 11, in Lagos.
Babalola, who is also the Chairman, Orgnising Committee for the Games, said that four water sports — swimming, rowing, sailing and boat-handling would be featured.
He said the swimming event would hold at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, while the other water events will take place at the Navy Sailing Club, Navy Town, Ojo.
He said, “We can’t mention the navy without talking about water. This is because most of our activities revolve around the water and this is why the navy is passionate about water sports.
“We decided to bring the water events to Lagos because of the available resources in the state and boat-handling will be part of the events for the first time as a demonstration sport.
“We have a robust relationship with the Nigeria Rowing, Sailing and Canoe Federation to move water sports forward. We Know the games will help to promote the swimming spirit among our personnel.
“Also, the games which are aimed at consolidating on the physical and mental fitness of naval personnel, has also helped in identifying talents in various sports in the country since its inception.
“This is because the military over the years had been in the forefront of sports development, as notable military men had done the nation proud in the international sports arena.
“Be it navy, army or the air force, these military bodies have contributed immensely to the growth of sports. Already, the navy is building a massive sports complex at Navy Town, Ojo, Lagos to aid sports development.”