The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Sports Council yesterday in Abuja inaugurated boards of 21 sports Associations to accelerate sports development in the territory.
The 20 sports associations were reconstituted for a period of four years, and were inaugurated alongside the already functional Football Association.
The sports associations inaugurated are Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Chess, Cricket, Golf, Gymnastics, Handball, Hockey, Judo, Karate, Kick-boxing, Scrabble, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Volleyball, Weightlifting, Wrestling and Football.
FCT Sports Council Director, Alim Musa, while speaking at the occasion, appreciated all the board members for their resolve to accept the task and be part of the associations.
He charged them to bring their experiences to bear to help create strategies to move the game forward.
Musa said the council, since its inception, had gone to the grassroots to select athletes and groom them, stating that they hope to do better at upcoming competitions.
“Our approach to competition is by the way of advocacy, because sports is life. It keeps us going and healthy.
“So far, the council has been able to produce athletes from the grassroots, and those athletes have represented the country internationally in different sports.
“We hope to increase our level of success in all other sports to raise more athletes to standard,’’ he said.
The FCT Minister of State, Olajumoke Akinjide, who was represented by the Secretary, FCT Social Development Secretariat, Blessing Onuh, said each sports association would be given N500,000 as take-off grant.
She said the money was to kick-start their activities, urging them to come up with grassroots’ orientation programme which will help to improve sports in the FCT.
Akinjide, however, said facilities were being provided in the territory’s six Area Councils to help facilitate grassroots sports development.