As Team Nigeria begins to depart for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games, the Nigeria Boxing Federation (NBF) says the team must protect Nigeria good image in Australia by playing according to rules.
NBF’s board member, Osondu Ogbu, said on Wednesday in Lagos that the country’s good name should not be traded for anything at the Games.
He appealed to the contingent to conduct themselves properly to be good ambassadors.
The first batch of athletes, coaches, loaders, helpers and medical personnel departed Nigeria on Saturday for the Games taking place in Queensland, Australia.
No fewer than 70 countries will participate at the 2018 Commonwealth Games tagged 2018 Gold Coast which takes place from April 4 to April 15.
The Commonwealth Games will feature at least 275 events in 20 sports.
Ogbu said: “It is expected of our representatives to be good ambassadors of our great country, Nigeria, both on the field of play and off the field.
“It is also necessary to emphasise that the rules of each sport must be strictly observed by our athletes to avoid disqualification or any form of embarrassment.
“The authorities have played their part – from national trials and selection to camping and departure – for the games; so, we expect good performances from the athletes in return.”
Ogbu hailed the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports for ensuring that the athletes had adequate preparations which, he said, would enable them to bring honour to Nigeria.
Ogbu, the South-East Zone representative of NBF, charged boxers to put in their best as they compete in their weight categories of the male and female classes.
According to him, this will be a way to prove their competency and justify their selection.
Ogbu advised boxers to fight according to instructions of their coaches, bring their self-confidence to play and be focused.
“By so doing, they will perform well. I am convinced that our boxers have prepared well.
“I visited them in camp and watched some of their programmes and build up contests with Ghana team, here, in Lagos.
“The NBF fans and the entire nation are looking forward to hearing good news from the Games,” Ogbu added.
The contingent includes 46 representatives in athletics, para athletics, table tennis, para table tennis, basketball, gymnastics, powerlifting, weightlifting and boxing.
There are 17 coaches, loaders and helpers and seven medical personnel.
Nigeria, which finished 8th in the 2014 edition of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, will feature in nine out of the 20 sports in the 2018 edition in Australia.(NAN)