The Youth Sports Movement (YSM) is set to stage the maiden Abuja School Games.
The game which is scheduled to run from August 3rd to 9th at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja, will see over 20 schools competing for laurels in track and fields, volleyball, basketball, football, badminton, tennis, handball, golf, swimming, roller speed stating, table tennis among others.
Speaking at the media launch of the program, yesterday, in Abuja, the Executive Director of Africa Centre for Youth and Sports Development (ACYSD), Ms Yinka Suleiman, said the games is aimed at making youth sports the foundation for the development of Nigeria through sports.
“The YSM is the Sports Development Unit of the African Centre for Youth Sports and Development. The school game is one of our strategies at the ACYSD and we want to use this event to raise the value of the youth through sports.
“We want to build a new sports culture in Nigeria where people would be proud of participating in sport in country, it should not be left for a particular set of people every one should be proud in engaging in sports.
“The continuity of the program is very important to us and that is why we are bringing in relevant organisations to partner with us to ensure it suitability as they will also be engaging the youth through advocacy at the games,” she said.
According to Suleiman, various sports federations will be on ground to ensure the smooth running of the games, while calling on cooperate organizations to contribute their quota to the development of grassroots sports in the country.
“We are starting with 20 schools who have already registered to participate in different events. We are working with all the sports federation that their games will be featuring at the event to help us in the technical aspects.
“We believe that youth sports are like every other elite sport. So, we want more participation in sports from the government, corporate organisation both international and local to support the games to become massive industrial activities in Nigeria.
“Sports events are very expensive to organise and our budget is running into tens of millions. So, we need other organisations to partner with us,” she added.
On his part, the President of the International Youth Parliament, Engr. Promise A. Nwadigos, said Africa has the right talents in sports that can conquer the world, while revealing why the parliament is partnering with YSM.
“As a youth parliament we are going around the continent to key in with local organisations in their youth programs in other for us to catch them young. That is our drive and we have been doing it all over the continent and we want take it round to the 36 state of the country.”
“We will support the program financial and empower the Nigerian youths during the games. We will ensure that we key into the program with ours at the youth parliament to ensure it suitability.”
According to the President of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Honour Sirawoo, assured the organizers that the sporting media will continue to support the laudable project to ensure that Nigerians are well informed about the YSM school games in the country.
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