Drama in Abuja as ministry fetes victorious Para-powerlifting team
What was supposed to be a happy moment for Nigeria’s victorious para-powerlifting athletes yesterday in Abuja was nearly marred by the disappearance of the trophy won by the country’s team at the just concluded Abuja 2020 Para Powerlifting World Cup.
Sports Development Minister, Sunday Dare, hosted the contingent in his office to thank them for making the country proud. But before then, the gathering was shocked when it was discovered that the trophy, which was supposed to be celebrated, was missing.
It was later gathered that the embattled president of the federation, Queen Uboh-Idris, allegedly took the trophy away after the competition.
Despite the little setback, the minister and his staff treated the athletes to a grand event, where he assured them that his ministry would stand with them in any situation.
The victorious Team Nigeria, nicknamed ‘The Unstoppables,’ was outstanding at the tournament, which held from February 4 to February 7.
Ten junior and 20 senior athletes were presented for the tournament that featured 13 countries.
Nigeria won six gold medals in the junior category and 11 gold medals plus five silver medals in the senior category. In addition, the team broke three world records in Para Powerlifting.
The minister thanked the team for staying focused in the face of provocations and making the country proud. He added that the ministry was backed by the law to supervise the activities of the sporting federations and insisted that it would do its best to protect Nigerian athletes at all times.
“The ministry will intervene anywhere Nigeria’s sporting interests, glory and reputation are at stake. That is why we are the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
“The ministry will not interfere; that’s why you have a board. And I want to advise, whatever the issues are, the board should do its work.”
He also assured that the ministry would provide the necessary support for the forthcoming competition billed to hold in Dubai and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
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