The minister of youth and sports development, Mr Sunday Dare, has urged Team Nigeria’s athletes to the Tokyo Olympic Games to embrace the spirit of patriotism with a view to ensuring more podium appearances during the competition
He call on Monday when he received the Africa and Nigeria’s first gymnastics gold medalist, Uche Eke, in his office.
He expressed optimism that the love for Fatherland, coupled with discipline, consistency, patriotism and dedication among the youth involved in sporting activities will no doubt ensure immeasurable success for Nigeria during the forthcoming Olympic Games.
The Minister who said that Nigerian youth remain one of the greatest resource the country would ever have, stated that with the recent performances by some of the athletes, there is a ray of light for the country in the forthcoming global competition, adding that sports in Nigeria is on a new trajectory which is driven by youth with sterling performances.
He explained that “Uche Eke signposts the picture of our sports development”, describing him as one of the best gymnasts in the world having transposed the future of gymnastic athletics in the country
While applauding his excellent performance in the field of education and sports, Mr. Dare affirmed: “you have brightened our journey to the Olympics and I therefore urge Nigerian youth to emulate your spirit of patriotism and commitment to sports development in the country.”
Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Engr. Nebeolisa Anako, congratulated the Gymnastics Federation of Nigeria for its organisational capacity that has given birth to this feat for the country and Africa as a continent.
While stating that it was the first time Nigeria would be qualifying to feature Gymnastics in the Olympics, Engr Anako, described Uche Eke as an enterprising young man in the field of academics and games, adding that he was a source of inspiration to other talented youth in the country.
In his response, the All African Games Gold medalist, Uche Eke called on Nigerian youth to imbibe discipline, patriotism and commitment in their various sporting fields and pledged to put in his best to ensure he wins a laurel for the country at the forthcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.
He thanked the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports as well as Gymnastic Federation of Nigeria for their encouragement and support.