The National Sports Commission (NSC) has assured that beach volleyball would be included on the list of sports for the 19th National Sports Festival (NSF) in Calabar, Cross River State.
NSC’s Assistant Director of Elite Athletes Development (EAD), Dr Emmanuel Igbinosa, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja. Igbinosa said the decision was due to the success of the sport since its inception in Nigeria. “We discovered that it is an area that Nigeria can do well as we are doing in beach football. And I am assuring you that it will be recognised as a scoring event at the next sports festival because it was at the last festival tagged “Eko 2012’’ in Lagos, as a demonstration sport. What had happened then that made it not to be fully competed for was that there was a mix-up in the zonal eliminations and the results came in a little bit late. But the sport has been doing well locally, nationally and internationally and this will be an encouragement for it and its stakeholders to do more,’’ he said.
Igbinosa noted the sport was also at the 10th All-Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique held in 2011 and both the Nigerian male and female teams came fifth and eighth respectively. “Now, the sport should be given the necessary support because we want it to do better than it has done so far,’’ he said.
Igbinosa said the NSC Director-General, Dr Patrick Ekeji, was committed to promoting the sport both at the grassroots and national levels. “’Due to the success the sport has recorded over the time, we are committed to promoting it because of its potential. We will be doing this for two purposes because beach volleyball is both a recreational and competitive sport.”