The Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, has described Team Nigeria, who recently represented the country at the 12th all Africa Games in Morocco as a gallant team who has displayed unparallel patriotism with due diligent service to their father’s land.
2. Sunday Dare, who on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, received the Dream Team yesterday at the arrival Wing, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; stated that the Dream Team has done Nigeria proud and as a team of champions they have proven their talents, adding, they have been professional and competed favourably inspite of all odds to occupy the second position after Egypt.
3. While assuring the team of athletes of their welfare and the intention of the Ministry to keep them together in order to increase their energy level for future qualifiers and engagements, the Minister stated that the outcome from Morocco signposted what we should expect from the Dream Team in Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Japan. ‘’I made bold to say that Nigeria will go to Olympics and win not just medals but gold medals’’.
4. The Minister further stated that the ministry will go all out to the grassroots in search of talented Nigerians across the country, adding that ‘’we are going to start a grassroots recruitment programme from primary school to secondary school in virtually all the sports other countries competed and winning gold medals easily, we are going all out to compete and make the difference’’, he stated.
5. Speaking earlier at the arrival of the athletes, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Olusade Adesola, thanked the athletes for their dedication and resilience throughout the Games, adding that the level of discipline manifested by the Dream Team is commendable and responsible for the success achieved in the Games. He also expressed gratitude to the officials in the Ministry for their cooperation and support during the stages of trials and preparation, ‘’I must also appreciate the partnering Ministries and Government Agencies whose activities relates with that of the Ministry for their support and for coming to our aids’’.
6. Mr. Adesola affirmed that the country progressed steadily unlike other African countries to arrive at the second position, stressing that this is an indication that efforts of the Federations over the years is yielding desired results and we intend to sustain the progress made from the Africa Games.
7. Addressing the Media further, the Permanent Secretary said that though the target set for the athletes was a voluntary one, but that they equally worked to build up their careers and not just working for the country. ‘’The nation is benefiting from their hard work but more importantly they are also making a name for themselves’’, he stated.
8. Team Nigeria finished with second position after Egypt at the 12th Africa Games in Rabat, Morocco with an impressive 46 Gold, 33 Silver and 47 Bronze medals, totalling 126 medals.