By Tony Ubani
The Nigeria Police Force yesterday brought refreshing hopes that would see Nigeria at the vanguard of sporting excellence in Africa when it pledged to produce officers who would win international laurels for the country.
Addressing the Press yesterday on activities for its 10th biennial Police Games which kicks off in Port Harcourt, Rivers State from March 3 to March 9, CP (Dr) Abimbola Macaulay, Chairman, Police Sports Planning Committee assured that the Force was determined to produce world stars for the country as it were in the past.
“We’re proud to produce eminent national and international sporting giants like CSP Chioma Ajunwa, who won Nigeria’s ever Olympic gold medal in her famous Long jump at the 1996 Athlanta Olympic Games, late SP Sunday Bada who was the anchor-man of Nigeria’s relay quartet to the 2000 Sydney Olympics that won the country her third Olympic gold medal (after the disqualification of the American Team). SP Bada had earlier won the World Indoor Athletic Championship in 400 meters, the same year.
The Police Games also prides itself of great athletes like the former World Heavy Weight Boxing Champion, DSP Samuel Peters . Renowned athletes like Eseme Ikpoto, Robert Ojo, Simon Oyebami, Mamman Makama and Anthony Oyakhire, all played key roles in respective Nigeria ’s teams to the Commonwealth Games at varying times. We’re ready to do it again”, she said with pride.
The Police Games would feature 24 events at the Adokiye Amasiemaka Stadium and Agabani Darego Sports complex. The sports include Athletics, Football, Volleyball, Basketball, Table Tennis, Judo, Hockey, Wrestling, Swimming, Weightlifing, Boxing, Tennis and Taekwando. Others are Kick-boxing, Golf, Tug-of –war, Chess, Squash, Shooting, Karate, Polo, Wushu kung fu, Badminton and Handball.
This 10th edition of the Police Games would also feature invitational relays by some invited neighboring West African counties. “This is to further strengthen the existing good relationship between the Nigeria Police Force and its counterparts in the West African countries”.
About 4,000 Police Officers are expected to battle for honours in the Games.