Nigerian sports minster, Solomon Dalung, has called on the the International Paralympics Committee (IPC) to subsequently organise Championships in the country. Dalung made the appeal at the opening ceremony of the International Paralympics Committee Seminar/Workshop held in Lagos, today.
Dalug, who was represented by director of federations of athletes in Nigeria, Tayo Oreweme, charged the participants to put in their best in order to impact their colleagues in their respective countries.
“I am made to understand that this August event is made possible by AGITOS Foundation which is the development arm of the International Paralympics Committee in collaboration with the Nigeria Paralympics Committee with support from world Para Powerlifting and of course the Federation Ministry of Youth and Sports. I appreciate the sponsor of this program and hope that this will not be the last, but subsequently more programme like this and competitions would be brought to Nigeria,” he said.
Dalung recalled that the nation’s powerlifters had always done Africa proud hence such commensurate the clamor of hosting an international championship. In Maputo, All Africa Games in 2011, Nigeria won six gold medals, seven silver medals and eight bronze medals. In London, Paralympics games in 2012; six gold, five silver and two bronze medals were one, while Nigerian athletes won 10 gold, nine silver and five bronze medals in 2015. At the 2016 Rio Paralympics games, they won six gold, three silver and one bronze medals. “This is enough reason for the IPC to consider the nation” Dalung emphasized.
Also speaking, the Technical Director, World Para Powerlifting Federation, Jon Amos said Nigeria have what it takes to rule the world, saying: “Asia is currently topping the table of the para Powerlifting. But I believe if adequate attention is given to these special athletes, they can RULE the world.”
Joyce Njunguna from Kenya and Ernest Nyabalale from Tanzania both commended the International Paralympics Committee for bringing such program to Africa, promising to impact the knowledge acquired to their colleagues.
“We are so happy that such programme is held here (Nigeria). Most of us could not travel for seminars held in Europe, Asia or South America due to logistics. With this seminar Africa para Powerlifting Associations will updated with latest techniques,” the said.
Participants were drawn from; Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, Cameroon, Tanzania, Cape Verde and Nigeria with a total number of fifty-six. Twelve in the athletes session, fifteen in the coaches, fourteen in Technical ad fourteen in the classifiers session, respectively.