The Minister of Sports Development Senator John Owan Enoh has said that arrangement has been concluded for the successful hosting of the 2nd edition of the National Para-Sports Festival scheduled to take place between 8 – 16 December, 2023 in Abuja.
The Minister who disclosed this Thursday in his office at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja, stated that the 2nd edition of the Para-Sports Games is aimed at giving people with disability (PLWD) in sports a sense of belonging and opportunity to exhibit all potentials in them.
Senator Owan Enoh stated further that the cardinal objective of the Games is the promotion of keen and healthy competition amongst Para Athletes under an atmosphere of sportsmanship and friendly interaction with a view to enhancing and strengthening national unity, peace and stability in the country as well as in the identification of Para Athletes that could represent the country at international competitions.
The creation of the Federal Ministry of Sports Development by the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration to drive the industry, Senator Owan Enoh said, was another demonstration and commitment of the Federal Government towards ensuring that sports cater for the growing needs of our teeming youth of all categories with no discrimination.
He added that organising and hosting of the National Para-Sports Festival by the Ministry was based on the impressive performances of the athletes at various national and international competitions over the years.
With this development, he said, *it is expected that attention will be focused on other Para Sports that have not had the opportunity of showcasing their talents, let alone participating in major sporting events either locally or internationally*
The Minister who has passionate support for Para-Sports, explained that it has become necessary to create dedicated medium to coordinate, promote and manage the development of Para – Sports in Nigeria.
This he said, will make it possible to utilize sports as a veritable tool for accelerated social integration and inclusion of persons living with disabilities, in line with the Ministry’s deliverables on eight priority areas of Government of which the Federal Ministry of Sports Development was committed to its full implementation so as to provide our teeming youth with employment
opportunity, alleviate poverty amongst them with a view to ensuring peace and stability in the nation.
Senator Owan Enoh stated further that the Ministry firmly believes that, with adequate attention and investment, Para- Athletes will not only enjoy new phase of life and livelihood but also contribute to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as enhance Nigeria’s chances of winning more medals at future International Competitions and Games.
He disclosed that thirty-six states of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are expected to participate in this year’s competition with over three thousand (3000) athletes
The Minister therefore called on corporate bodies, all well-meaning Nigerians and relevant stakeholders to support the efforts of the government
and invest in Para Sports Athletes, stressing that the Ministry remains committed to providing new opportunities for Para-Sports development in Nigeria.
The sports that will feature in the Second Edition of the Games include Para Powerlifting, Wheelchair Tennis, Para Badminton, Wheelchair Basketball, Para Athletics, Para Soccer, Para Canoe, Para Swimming, Para Shooting, Para Table Tennis, Sitting Volleyball, Amputee Football, Para Taekwondo and Para Karate.