The Kano State Government is sending a 276-strong contingent to the National Sports Festival (NSF) which will take place in Edo, the chairman of Kano State Sports Commission, Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima, says.
Galadima stated this during a press conference on Thursday in Kano, saying the contingent is made up of 199 athletes and 77 officials, including coaches and security agents.
“We will compete in 22 events, including athletics, badminton, handball, volleyball, swimming, taekwondo, basketball, traditional wrestling (Kokawa) and boxing (Dambe), among others.
“We are in the final stage, some of the athletes are outside Kano for training because of the lack of facilities. For instance, Swimmers, Gymnasts, Cyclists are based in Lagos while some are in other parts of the country,” he explained.
Galadima, a former president of the Nigerian Football Federation, also said that Kano, being the zonal champions, would represent North West in five of the six team events which include Basketball (male and female), Handball, Volleyball and Rugby.
“Before now, the festival was allowing two states to represent each zone in team events but this time because of Covid-19 pandemic, it was decided to cut down the number of people going there so only the champion states will play.
“By March 29th all the athletes will arrive in Kano to meet Covid-19 protocol of testing and vaccinations, because they are required to do the test three days before they arrive in Benin.
“The vaccination is to be held 12 days before the arrival, we have been taking the jabs for two days back. I had my own on Tuesday,” Galadima added.
According to the chairman, the state government will maintain the gesture of giving out the sum of N500,000 to each gold medal winner, silver N300,000 while Bronze medal winners will go home with N200,000 each as motivation.
He described the tournament as a veritable tool for selecting talents that would represent either the state or the country at various sports competitions.