By Salifu Usman, Abuja
The minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, yesterday flagged off TAFISA World Walking Day, meant to promote and facilitate access for physical activity as well as the need for persons to engage in active sports.
This year’s event, put together by The Association For International Sport For All (TAFISA) in collaboration with African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 2, was also aimed at promoting active mobility towards defeating the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The minister said the TAFISA World Walking Day is open to citizens of all ages, backgrounds, abilities and genders, enjoining Nigerians to integrate physical activity into their everyday lives by promoting the benefits of walking.
“The ministry of Youth and Sports Development encourages citizens to constantly develop the habit of leading an active lifestyle through participation in sports. I am highly honoured and delighted to address you on this auspicious occasion of the flag off of the TAFISA World Walking Day 2020, which is a strategic approach to achieve one of the mandates, vision and mission of the ministry.”.
“As we take part in the World Walking Day 2020, let it serve as a springboard to inculcate the habit of keeping physical active through regular walking and engaging in any sports or physical activity of our choice,” he said.
Dare, who was represented by the deputy director, Monitoring and Planning, Segun Akinlotun, insisted that the benefits of walks cannot be overemphasized.
“There are many different ways that walking can help you. Constant practice of this form of exercise is critical in maintaining the right weight. They said that weight loss is not a walk in the park. However, an hour of walking a day will surely help you manage numerous conditions, which include diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.”
Speaking at the event, President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Engr Habu Gumel, described the TAFISA World Walking Day as a very significant day and enjoined everybody to join the walk.
He commended TAFISA, AUSC and the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for commemorating the day.
General manager and project coordinator, AUSC Region 2, Caleb Gidado, said the TAFISA World Walking Day, which holds the first weekend of October every year would be organised in all 15 African countries that made up AUSC Region 2 and over 150 countries across the globe.