By Mike Oboh
No fewer than 14,580 participants from across the country will be involved in the 19th National Sports Festival NSF which begins in Abuja tomorrow.
The Minister of Youths and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung said in Abuja yesterday that of this figure, 11,638 were athletes, 1,242 are coaches, 855 are team officials and 845 State delegates.
Dalung said that 40 sports events will be competed in as against the 25 in previous games, saying “It is expected that the festival will have landmark athletes and officials participation of over 10,000. The objective is to give more Nigerians opportunities to be part of the Fiesta and have a sense of belonging.”
He said that as at the end of the registration exercise for the festival 8,861 persons were accredited from 35 States and the Federal Capital Territory while Ebonyi did not participate in the exercise.
He said 7,227 athletes, 710 coaches, 322 other team officials, and 602 States delegates made up the numbers so far accredited.
Dalung said thatAbula (male and female) Cricket (Female) Football (Female) are sports which will not score at the festival.
He added that already arrangements for the accommodation and medical needs of the participants have been put in place as the Main Organising Committee will want to ensure the best for them.
“We have commenced the allocation of bed spaces in the games Villages as well rehearsals for the opening ceremony. So far, arrangements for a hitch-free movement of athletes and officials are at advanced stage, with all relevant security agencies being mobilised to ensure adequate security during the game.
Similarly, arrangements have been concluded to establish polyclinics at all the Games villages while reputable medical institutions have been contacted to serve as Referral hospitals. All competition venues will be medically covered during the games,” the minister said.