By Jacob Ajom, Kaduna
The swimming pool of the Murtala Mohammed Square in Kaduna will come alive today as swimmers from the 36 states of the federation, private clubs, the Army, Navy and the Police swimming clubs begin a three-day competition at the 2nd Chief of Naval Staff Open Swimming championships.
Already, swimmers from the military and para- military formations were the first to arrive here for the championships that held last in 2002 in Benin, the Edo state capital.
Addressing the press in a pre-tournament conference yesterday in Kaduna, President of the Nigeria Swimming Federation, Babatunde Fatai-Williams said he was delighted to see to the revival of Nigeriaâ€™s elite swimming competition which was made possible by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ishaya Ibrahim, and prayed that the competition became an annual feature in the federationâ€™s calendar.
He heaped praises on members of the federation whom he said had demonstrated a lot of commitment and dedication since coming on board about a year ago.
Fatai Williams said the federation was poised to reposition swimming in Nigeria but needed the support of all in this pursuit.
He seized the opportunity to highlight some of the events the federation had organized including the recently held classics in Ibadan.
â€œApart from this monthâ€™s CNS Open Championships,â€ Fatai Williams said, â€œthe 1st national age_group swimming competition in May to be held in Ilorin, Africa Zone 2 Swimming Classics in Akure will also hold in May, the second national swimming classics in June, among others. The calendar stretches up to September, 2010.â€
Speaking on the preparedness of the organizers, head of the technical committee, Olugbenga Lawal said all was set for the competition to begin. â€œThe swimming pool is world class and all other logistics have been put in place to make the championships a success,â€ he said.