By: Zaharadeen Saleh
…As ACP S. Bello received commendation award.
Delta State and the Nigerian Police Force have emerged winner and runners up at the just-concluded the 11th Chief of Naval Staff National Swimming Championship in Port Harcourt.
Delta State garnered a total of twelve gold,eight silver and eight bronze medals to emerge tops in the largely military tournament while Nigeria Police placed second with eight gold, one silver and three bronze medals.
Third place was clinched by the Nigeria Army with a total of twenty medals(five gold give silver ten bronze), while Rivers State (host) placed seventh with two gold,two silver and one bronze medal.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the championship, Rear Admiral Patrick Nwatu, who represented the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel I.Ogalla,commended the courage displayed by the participants during the competition, noting that “it is not easy to swim a stretch of 100m with almost the same bust of energy from the start to end, not to talk of pushing for about 1500m.”
On behalf of the Chief of Naval Staff, he expressed gratitude to the Rivers State Government, under the steering of Governor Siminialayi Joseph Fubara for the facilities provided in a very safe environment and thumbed up the National Sports Commission for providing the template that is now facilitating events like the 11th CNS National Swimming Championship and more that can help optimise the gains available in a Blue Economy.”
Rear Admiral Partrick Nwatu said “Swimming and other water sports can be used to gainfully engage the youths of this country and keep them away from activities like bunkering, sea piracy and pipeline vandalism that sabotage our economy.”
On her part, the National President of the Nigeria Aquatics Federation, Chief Mrs Chinoye Daphey Aliyu enthused that “the support the Federation received from all the Stakeholders, such as the military and paramilitary, the Rivers State Government and the athletes especially shows that water sports, not just swimming will flourish in Nigeria and help the country to take its rightful place in the comity of sporting Nations.”
Chief Daphey Aliyu also thanked the officials for applying the best standards in officiating, adding her hope that “athletes called from this competition would not only make the cut but be on the podium for awards at the All Africa Games.”
In his remark, the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State, Rilwanu Olatunji Disu, who stayed from start to finish on the final day also had words of praise for the Nigeria Aquatics Federation, noting however that he was not surprised at the impressive performance of the Nigeria Police contingent, given the emphasis that the Inspector General of Police places on personal and physical fitness vin a disciplined manner.
The Rivers COMPOL, who was accompanied by ACP Shuaibu Bello, the Swimming Boss of the Nigeria Police, disclosed that the Police, under the present IGP, rewards high sports performances in several ways, from cash through scholarship to promotion from one rank to another.
ACP Shuaibu Bello received an award for his commitment and contribution to the overall development of the event in the country.
Some Nigerian Police Force winners are expected to represent the country in the upcoming All African Games schedule to hold next month in Ghana.