The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has charged the Nigeria Scrabble Federation (NSF) to train and mentor young players.
Dare said this in Abuja on Monday while hosting Nigeria’s scrabble team, following their successful outing at the just-concluded West African Scrabble Championship in Accra, Ghana.
The team, which included 15 players, coaches and a few administrators, returned after winning nine out of the 10 titles up for grabs at the event.
The minister, while congratulating the team for their efforts at the event, pledged more support for the federation.
“As a government, we will renew our commitment and support to you. You can come and share your programmes with us and we will try to provide funding, where necessary.
“I look forward to seeing more competitions and want to be part of what you do.
“I want to come and see the players where they are sweating it out in training and not when they arrive or want to depart for competitions.
“I also charge you to mentor young potential scrabble players.
“As you are champions, it is only right to train other people to follow in your footsteps, such that Nigeria will always be a force to be reckoned with in scrabble globally,” Dare said.
On his part, NSF President, Olabatoke Aka, said he was delighted to present a winning team to the minister, promising that the federation would not rest on its oars in promoting the game.
“We have made world champions, African champions and more champions out of scrabble. We went to Accra and scooped nine out of 10 titles there.
“It was like a revenge of what the Ghanaian team did to us here in Abuja few years ago.
“I am delighted to say that we have about 38 scrabble clubs across the country and we will begin a national league very soon.
“We are thankful to the minister for his support and hope that we will continue to do the country proud,’’ Aka said.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Eta Karo was the winner of the four-nation event, which had Nigeria, The Gambia, Sierra Leone and host nation Ghana as participants.