Athletes from Anambra preparing for the 17th National Sports Festival are embarking on the final phase of camping for the event holding between June 27 and July 11 in Port Harcourt.
The 215 male and female athletes moved into camp at the Chuba Ikpeazu Memorial Stadium, Onitsha, and the uncompleted Onitsha South Local Government Mini Stadium.Chidiogo Mbanefo, the state’s Director of Sports (Operations) said in Onitsha that the athletes would participate in 15 sports.
They are football, chess, karate, kungfu, weightlifting, traditional wrestling, wrestling, kickboxing, tennis, volleyball, ayo, athletics, taekwondo, boxing and judo.
Mbanefo said the male athletes were camped at the Chuba Ikpeazu Stadium while the females were at the Onitsha South Local Government Stadium.
He said the camps had about 70 other people, including coaches, medics, cooks as well as secretaries of various sports associations and supervisors from the sports ministry.
The director said the ministry would feed the athletes as requested by their sports associations.
Mbanefo said the state was preparing seriously in all the sports with special focus on the combat sports where it has comparative advantage.
“I think our strength lies in the combat sports —karate, taekwondo and judo,” Mbanefo said.
It could be recalled that the Sports Commissioner, Chinwe Anowai, had last week said that no fewer than 300 people would be in the state’s contingent to the festival.
She said the contingent would include athletes, coaches, staff of the sports ministry and representatives of the state government.