Nigeria to Debut in ISF World School Cross Country

A seven-man contingent will represent Nigeria at its maiden appearance at the International School Sport Federation (ISF) World School Cross Country Championships taking place in Nairobi, Kenya.

The team, made up of four boys and three girls, are champions from the Nigeria School Sport Federation’s (NSSF)-organised national cross-country championships held in Kaduna in March. Winners in the U-12, U-15, and U-18 are expected to compete against their counterparts from 21 other nationals from May 10 to 14.

Speaking at the press briefing before the team’s departure in Lagos on Thursday, May 9, NSSF President, Olabisi Joseph, described the trip as part of the efforts by the federation to expose the students to global tournaments on a global stage.

She particularly commended the Governor of Plateau State, Caleb Mutfwang, for supporting the students in their quest to compete on the big stage.

Being the first time Africa will be hosting the tournament, Joseph said Nigeria will be making its debut at the tournament with the hope of returning home with medals.

“For us at NSSF, this is another opportunity to showcase the talents of Nigerian students, as talents abound in our schools across the country. ISF has given our students the opportunity to showcase their talents on a global stage. This is the first time Nigeria will be part of the tournament, and we must commend the good people of Plateau, most especially, the sports loving governor, for ensuring that the dreams of the athletes become a reality with their participation in the competition,” Joseph said.

For Plateau State Commissioner for Education, Mohammed Yalum, the NSSF must be commended for identifying the athletes through the national competition while promising that this would surely ignite the promotion of sports in school curricula across the state.

“We are happy that NSSF organised the national competition to be able to discover the athletes, and this again has shown their genuine interest in Nigerian students regardless of where they come from. We are happy that our athletes dominated the team, and we hope this can ignite interest in sports across all schools in Plateau. I hope and believe the athletes will make Plateau and Nigeria proud in Kenya, the commissioner, who is also the leader of the delegation, said.

The captain of the team, James Gwom of Government Secondary School, Sot Vwang in Jos, is excited about the trip while promising to make the country proud in Kenya.

460 athletes from five continents, made up of 22 countries, will compete at the tournament taking place at Ngong Race Course, a venue renowned for hosting numerous Kenyan National Cross Country championships and other sporting events like horse racing.

It is situated within the renowned Ngong Forest. The course boasts a well-designed layout with natural obstacles, perfectly suited for cross country racing.

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