By Joy Odor
In what has been described as a defense strategy and genuine sporting endeavor for students, the Nigerian Boxing Federation (NBF) has promised to help Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA) to establish sports in Nigerian Universities ahead of the 2024 NUGA Games in Jos.
The unveiling of the partnership was announced at a press briefing in Abuja addressed by the President of NUGA, Mr Emeka Ogbu, the Vice President NBF, Azania Omo-Agege and the Technical Chairman NUGA, Prof Musa Garba Yakassai and made available to newsmen in a press statement by the Media Officer, Nigerian University Games Association, Ms. Chidiebere Ezeani Abuja on Tuesday.
The Nigerian Boxing Federation believed that inclusion of boxing into the Nigerian University Games comes at a crucial time in the Nigerian ecosystem.
The Federation planned to have a training tour of Nigerian Universities for prospective athletes and coaches.
Azania Omo-Agege thanked NUGA for facilitating what he believes is the right move for the growth of Boxing in the country.
“We are excited about this project because the federation believes that this will help us find and groom future champions and bring back Olympic glory to Nigeria”. He called on sponsors
The NUGA President praised the collaboration with NBF as a worthwhile idea since it will allow students to focus their energy into boxing, combat anti-social behavior, and provide female students with self-defense skills.
“Sports is also a team builder between campuses by building friendship and providing the platform for our students and society to give the students the opportunity to showcase their talent,” Ogbu said.
NUGA Technical Chairman Prof Yakasai said they saw that many students were interested in boxing following a demonstration carried out at the last NUGA Games held in March this year at University of Lagos.
He said boxing will feature as the 18th medal sport at the 2024 Games at University of Jos, by joining other combatant sports like Taekwondo, Judo and Karate which are medal sports at NUGA.
He also urged the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare, to back a policy that will make it mandatory for Nigerian university students to be considered for selection for the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and the All Africa Games in the future given the depth of talent at the universities.
Both parties called on the Sports Ministry, public and private sponsors to invest in this venture.