Nigeria Scrabble Federation (NSF) has called on the National Sports Commission (NSC) and the host state of the 18th National Sports Festival, Lagos to include Scrabble as a medal winning sport for the bi-annual championship.
NSF president, Olobatoke Aka who made the call during an interactive session with sportswriters in Abuja, said scrabble is the only sport that Nigeria is dominating in Africa, with the nation winning eight out of the nine competitions held in the continent so far. He said for Nigeria to maintain the lead in scrabble the game needs to be included in the National Sports Festival as a medal sport in order to encourage participating states to support the game in their respective states.
“This is only the sport Nigeria has dominated for quite a long time. We are number one in scrabble ranking in Africa and to maintain this position, we need to develop the game from the grassroots. Scrabble became a medal winning sport in the National Sports Festival in 2004 when the games was held in Abuja after being a demonstration sports for many years. But at the last sports festival in Port Harcourt, scrabble was removed from events listed for the games with the excuse that only Olympic sports will now feature in the festival. Because of this, most our state associations are having it difficult to get the support of their state governments since the sport is no longer counted as medal sports at the National Sports Festival.
“At present, there is no corporate body associated with the sponsorship of scrabble. That is why we are appealing to the Sports Commission to include the sport as a medal winning event in the festival so that states can because of that develop the game in their states,” he begged.