The Ebonyi Ministry of Youths and Sports says it will partner with the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) to adequately publicise the forthcoming David Umahi Tertiary Institutions Games (DUMTIGA)
The competition which will feature 10 tertiary institutions competing in nine sports will be staged from Sept. 8 to Sept. 15 in Abakaliki.
Mr. Charlse Akpuenika, the Commissioner for Youth Development and Sports, made the disclosure on Monday during an interactive session of both bodies on the publicity arrangement for the maiden event.
Akpuenika said that such publicity would extend to other competitions to be organized after the DUMTIGA Games, all aimed at discovering hidden sports talents in the state.
“These sports competitions include the School Sports, Divine Mandate (Gov.Umahi’s campaign organization) and Para-military among others.
“We intend to give adequate publicity to these sports events starting with the DUMTIGA Games to enable Nigerians and the world know that the governor’s giant strides in sports is no fluke.
“We believe strongly that SWAN with its wide reach, has the ability to effectively disseminate news about these events to ensure their overall success,” he said.
The commissioner noted that all necessary arrangements had been concluded to ensure a hitch-free hosting of the DUMTIGA Games, saying that all participating teams would arrive on or before Friday, Sept. 7.
“The events will assist in achieving the government’s grassroots-oriented sports policy which will unearth hidden talents across the state and harness them.
“It is shameful for instance, that Ebonyi is the only state in the country without a football team competing in any cadre of the nation’s leagues.
“The state government wants to reverse this trend and is working assiduously to float a state team to replace the Ebonyi Angels and Ebonyi Queens teams disbanded by the preceding administration.
He said the government’s sports policies were yielding results as proved by the encouraging performances of the state’s athletes in recent regional, national and continental competitions.
“An athlete from Ebonyi won bronze for Nigeria in the recently held Youth Games in Algiers, Algeria, while the state’s continent won the male volleyball and cricket male and female events at the just-concluded South-East zonal Youth Games elimination series.
“The contingent would thus represent the zone in those events at the forthcoming National Youth Games in Ilorin, Kwara, and we expect more scintillating performances from our athletes,” he said.
He noted that the competitors at the DUMTIGA Games would enjoy the state of the art facilities at the refurbished Pa Ngele Oruta Stadium, Abakaliki among other venues for the competition.
“We were all witnesses to the pathetic state of the stadium before the governor refurbished it as he is also re-constructing the dilapidated sports council secretariat at the stadium complex,” he said.
Mr. Chukwuemeka Opara, the Ebonyi SWAN Chairman, assured the commissioner that the association would give adequate coverage of the DUMTIGA Games and other competitions.
“We assure that our members will be at all the venues of the competition to give up-to-date reports and analysis.