Arrangements are in top gear as the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, (UNN)prepares to host the West African University Games (WAUG) competition in football and hockey, tentatively scheduled to take place in the month ofMay 2013.
Speaking in an interview with staff of Public Relations Unit in his office, the University Director of Sports, Mr. Godwin Ogbobe, said that the University administration was working round the clock to ensure that standard facilities were put in place for the competition.
“The Local Organising Committees are working hard to ensure that at least five standard hockey pitches are provided for the game, the main bowl stadium will be re-grassed, electronic boards will be made available and lots more,” he said.
The Sports Director explained that the right to host WAUG competition was attracted to the University because of the dynamic approach and passion of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof, Bartho Okolo, for sports, which he manifested when he served as the Coordinator of the 2008 NUGA competition hosted by the UNN. The game, according to him, was unprecedented in the history of NUGA competitions and was widely adjudged to be the best ever hosted in the country.
Also he said that the hosting right was granted to the University because of the availability of sporting facilities, including a good stadium with tartantracks, standard hockey pitches and a swimming pool, which he said were very rare to find in other universities in the country.
Further, Mr. Ogbobe said that apart from the 145 universities in Nigeria, about 53 to 70 other universities, drawn from both Francophone and Anglophone countries in West Africa, are expected to participate in the competition, which will officially last for 10 days.
According to him, while only male teams will participate in the football competition, hockey will be open to the participation of both male and female teams.
On the readiness of UNN teams for the competition, the Sports Director said that the teams were currently undergoing intensive training exercise,with coaches already on ground to groom the players. He added that although equipping a hockey team was cost intensive, UNN had a formidable hockey team with complete kits.
The Director noted that the University of Nigeria, which will be hosting the WAUG competition for the first time, had come a long way to take its pride of place in NUGA medal table. He expressed belief that the winning spirit would be sustained in the up-coming WAUG competition.
To equip the players with the rules of the game Mr. Ogbobe said that arrangement had been concluded to bring coaches with international experience to lecture players on the international rules governing the games of football and hockey.
The Director assured that the university administration was committed to giving the UNN teams the needed support and motivation to excel in the competition. He therefore urged the university community to give the teams the moral support they will need to make the University proud.
Oma Ekwueme and Inya, Agha E.
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