Maiduguri – The Borno Sports Council on Tuesday appealed to the state government to provide the needed funds for the state’s contingent to enable them to excel at the 17th National Sports Festival.
The festival holds in Port Harcourt from June 27 to July 10.
The Executive Secretary, Mr Zubairu Umar, made the plea while receiving the executives of the Borno chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) in his office in Maiduguri.
“We started an open camp for all our athletes in November 2010.
“We have just resumed close camping for the athletes after a break of about
three weeks,” Umar said.
He said that the council had also sent some of its athletes to train in Bauchi due to lack of facilities in the state.
“We have sent some of the athletes like the lifters and wrestlers to Bauchi to train using the facilities at the zonal centre of the National Sports Commission (NSC).
“We have also sent our cyclists and the long distant athletes to Jos for camping,” Umar said.
He, however, said that lack of adequate funding had hampered the council’s plans to prepare
the athletes well to make a “great” impact at the festival.
Umar pointed out that the council had sent a proposal for funding to the state government but had not received positive results.
“We have sent numerous proposals to the state government but we have yet to get approval.
“We are hoping that the funding approval will come on time for us to conclude arrangement for the festival,” he said.
Umar said that the state intended to field athletes in all individual events at the festival.
“We intend to take part in all individual sports, including athletics, weightlifting, wrestling, karate, boxing, taekwondo, chess, cycling and traditional sports, among others.
“The state’s teams have also qualified for both male and female handball events,” the executive secretary said. (NAN)