All is now set to host the 19th National Sports Festival (NSF), at the Main Bowl National Stadium Abuja, from December 6th – 16th, which will be the climax of all Nigerian sporting competitions this year.
The festival which is referred to as Nigerian Olympics, will feature over 1000 athletes representing the different 36 states of the country competing in 37 sports, in order to bring honour to their state by winning medals and claiming the bragging rights of overall best sporting state in the country.
Speaking on the festival and the takeover from Cross Rivers by the Federal Government (FG) to host it in Abuja, the Minister of Youth and Sports said:
“The inability of Cross River State to host the event following several postponements, led to the takeover by the FG. This is an increase from 25 sports in the past, with a landmark participation of over 10,000 athletes and officials.
“The FG realizing the collateral damage that the unending postponements of the festival portend for sports development in Nigeria, accepted the resolution of the National Council of Sports to take over the hosting and organization of the Games in 2018 with Abuja as the host city.”
In the same vein, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, Mallam Mohammed Musa Bello stated that the measures have been put in place to ensure a hitch free festival.
“The school calendar has been adjusted to accommodate the games. For the first time, schools in and around Abuja will vacate on the first week of December 2018. We are working with all relevant agencies to ensure security of persons and facilities from the arrival of participants, to the venues to their departure.
“I can assure you that all transport logistics shall be in place before the opening ceremony of the games. In addition, all commissioners in the FCT have been directed to give maximum cooperation to the LOC and MOC to ensure a smooth and hitch-free hosting of the games.”
Athletics will commence on Tuesday, December 11th where Nigeria’s fastest men and women will be decided, as the National Championships was cancelled back in July.
Here’s the full program of events, competition venues and dates.