Cross River in new steps to boost sports development, takes delivery of $1m equipment

By The Citizen

Ahead of the National Sport Festival which holds next year, the Cross River State Government has taken delivery of the last batch of equipment worth over $1m for its comprehensive Sports Development programme.

The Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Mr. Patrick Ugbe, who took delivery of the equipment at the U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar, said government is excited at the arrival of the items.

He said, 'these equipment, which represented the last batch of supplies were ordered from the United States of America, are meant for the development of sports in Cross River. Today's arrival are equipment for the development of boxing and weightlifting; we also have some of the athletics equipment as well.

'The equipment we received, so far, are worth more than a million US Dollars. Our sports administrators have been mandated to maintain the equipment and use them with care in the course of training our budding youngsters in sports.

'All the equipment were manufactured in the United States of America for our programme and some of them have been put to use already at the All Nigeria/ Cross River Athletics championship, which we have been hosting for years now.

'We are also preparing continuously for the hosting of the 2014 National Sports Festival (NSF) and the Obudu International Mountain Race within the same period'.

The State Director of Sports, Dr. Jude Amadi, noted that the arrival of the equipment would boost Cross River's Comprehensive Sports Development programme, the 2014 NSF and the Obudu Mountain Race as 'the equipment are all-embracing.'

Sports Development Consultant to Cross River State government, Dr. Bruce Ijirigo, also emphasised that the equipment would be judiciously utilised for purposes intended and 'we are going to use it strictly for the development of these young athletes. We believe that the equipment will enable us to develop training programmes for individual athletes.

'We intend to nurture these athletes appropriately over a long period of time; specifically to peak at certain competitions and certain age for them to be successful.

Ijirigo said some of the equipment will be distributed to six schools of sporting excellence across the state and 'it is primarily for us to intensify our training and be specific in what we want to achieve for our children. We have enough equipment for primary, secondary schools athletes and for our elite athletes.'