The Nigeria Rowing Canoe and Sailing Federation (NRCSF) on Wednesday said that six athletes would represent the country in the forthcoming World Rowing Championships in the U.S.
The federation’s Secretary, Bunmi Oluode, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that championships would hold from Sept. 20 to Oct. 2 in Sarasota, Florida.
Oluode said that the aim of participating in the championships was to prepare the country’s athletes ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics games in Japan.
“Our athletes have been in open camp for close to one month and will proceed to closed camping on Aug. 28 in a boat club in Lekki to further prepare for the championships.
“The federation’s President recently built a three room hostel in the club to accommodate the rowers and will also give the athletes allowances during their stay in the camp to encourage them.
“The home-based athletes have made their mark in Africa, participating in competitions of this magnitude will put them at par with their foreign counterparts and prepare them for the Olympics,’’ she said.
She said that a Nigerian-born Para-rower based in Washington would likely join Team Nigeria for the competition.
The scribe added that the body was able to secure sponsors to attend the championships through its strategic planning.
She added that plans were also on to import 60 boats into the country from Portugal to boost the sport.
“The president of the federation had held meetings with the board immediately they were inaugurated in Abuja on the need to have an aggressive sponsorship drive.
“We know the government alone cannot be saddled with the responsibility of financing sports.
“With that, the body was able to secure funds for athletes that will be travelling to Florida and the president has paid an international company for more boats,’’ Oluode said.
Retired Rear Adm. Festus Porbeni was re-elected as the President of the body at the sports federation’s election held in June. Also Jonathan Akinyemi and Chierika Ukogu represented the county in the Rio 2016 Olympics in Brazil.