Traditional Sports Athletes Set To Stage Protest Over Non-Inclusion Of The Sport In The 2022 National Sports Festival


Traditional Sports; Kokowa, Langa, Ayo, Abula and Dambe athletes are set to protest the non-inclusion of the indigenous sport in the forthcoming National Sports Festival, billed to take place next month in Asaba, Delta State.

Nigeria was the first country to demonstrate the African traditional sports at the All Africa Games when three traditional sports of Ayo, Dambe, and Kokowa were demonstrated at the 8th All Africa Games hosted in Nigeria in 2003.

While several letters have been written to the sports ministry to reinstate and feature traditional sports in the festival, no action has been taken to reinstate the sport and the athletes are now planning to stage protest against the non-inclusion of the sport.

It can be confirmed from a reliable source that athletes and officials of Traditional Sport are mobilizing and planning to protest the non-inclusion of the sport in the National Sports Festival.

Reacting to the development, president of Traditional Sports Federation of Nigeria Honourable Olomo Agbadabina, who did not confirm the protest, said he is still appealing to the sports ministry for the re-instatement of traditional sports in the sport festival.

“We at the federation are still appealing to the sports ministry to bring back Traditional Sport and feature it in the festival because the implication is that the sports are no longer reckoned with in Nigeria and the progress made so far in promoting African Traditional Sports in Nigeria has been dismissed”.

“Thousands of Nigerian Youths that are participating in Traditional Sports have been eliminated from taking part at the festival and rendered jobless, with their coaches”.

Honourable Agbadabina, who believes that reducing Traditional Sport at the National Sports Festival to optional sport is a disgrace to the teeming youths who have taken to the sport, said he will continue to push until his request is attended to.

“We have written to the sports ministry, we have sent letter to Delta State, we have copied the Honourable Speaker of the House of Representative and we have also written to the Senate President, we will continue to push and try all within our power so as to reinstate Traditional Sport in the National Sports festival”.

Federal Government relisted Para sports to the festival on Wednesday October 9 following protest from its athletes after it was earlier removed by the National Council on Sports.

The 21st edition of the National Sports Festival which was earlier scheduled to take place from November 2-15 will now take place from November 28 to December 10, 2022.

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