More than 500 barracks youths are currently participating in the 2022 edition of Abuja Military Barracks Youths Sports Championship organised by the Defence Headquarters.
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, said this at the opening of the championship and inauguration of the remodeled Mogadishu Cantonment Sports Complex yesterday in Abuja.
Irabor, who was represented by the Director of Education, Defence Headquarters, Rear Adm. Chibuike Azike, said the championship was organised to gainfully occupy the barracks youths with sports to keep them off social vices.
He said the sports championship stand was designed with a view to unlocking the hidden talents and potentials of the barracks youths in sports.
According to him, the conduct of this championship therefore, forms part of the overall Federal Government of Nigeria Vision of Youth Empowerment.
“I am aware that over 500 youths from the various barracks/cantonments within Abuja are participating in the sports championship that features football, basketball, badminton and volleyball.
“I have no doubt in my mind that as it has been in the past, new talents would be discovered from this championship amongst whom we expect to have future prospects that would blossom into national and international champions.
“It is pertinent to state that the need to provide an enabling environment for our teeming barracks youths to develop their God-given sports talents, informed the remodeling of this football sports complex that we all are seated today,” he said.
Irabor also stated that sports was a unifying factor that engenders love, cooperation, teamwork, patriotism and a good number of other positive virtues.
He, therefore, urged the participants to imbibe and display the spirit of sportsmanship and abide by the rules and regulations guiding the various sporting events slated to feature in the championship.
Earlier, the Director of Sports, Defence Headquarters, AVM Framah Batnah, said the essence of organising the sporting activities was to foster cooperation among the Youths in the various barracks.
Batnah added that the competition was also meant to ensure that the youths pay attention to their physical fitness and maintain good health.
He urged the athletes not to see the competition as a ‘do or die affair’, but a platform for interaction within an among them to ensure peaceful coexistence.
“I want to assure you that every team that is participating here is a winning team,” he said.