Glowing Tribute To 2021, Looking Ahead to the New Year by NUGA President

2021 has come and gone. Like many other years, it flowed similar to a river from a higher gradient. It is very unlikely that it will not carry with its current many articles light and heavy, It’s passage to its destination leaves many to wonder the act of God. All the same, it has a destination. Along its path are the purposes people differently ascribed. 2021 has ended so that 2022 may come. We can’t thank God enough for making us see the year of our dreams perhaps.
The 26th NUGA Games holds in University of Lagos in 2022. There’s not been a dull moment in the the University ever since. It shows the enthusiasm of Nigerians when they’re involved.

NUGA Council being ably supported by the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities never relents in ensuring UniLag keeps to her promise of 16-27 March, 2022.  It’s a city game they proposed, meaning every available venue in Lagos is a sport-event Centre. Awesome it is, as the games will have wide viewership in Lagos. Interestingly, the Media and Marketing Officer of NUGA, Ms. Chidiebere, has created different platforms to engage Nigerian students’ viewership. Nigerian university campuses will be aglow with pictures, videos and life streaming of the games. UniLag has gone top on global best practice by introducing the University’s TV station as another broadcasters of the games added to the FM station.

Lagos is epicenter of youth sports. It is mind blowing to notice the interests many Nigerian universities have in wanting to attend the UniLag games. Besides new comer universities, the 26th NUGA games is characterized by the introduction of sports that were hitherto not NUGA sports, among which are, Karate, Boxing, Strongman, BeachVolleyball, Mixed Relays, and Female Soccer. The student-athletes population for this years games will be something close to 7000 and 1000 accompanying officials, Expecting over 80 universities. Spectacular, indeed but worrisome given the new normal of having to face the realities of Covid-19 and the Omicron variant that just emerged as thunderstorm. Give me a break!!! That is the reason why UNILAG said, it’s gonna be a city game. NCDC after all have UNILAG on their list of surveillance. Modalities have been worked out by both parties to make participation and spectatorship COVID-19 free.

What other glamour do spectators expect in these games? Invitation relays to be staged by other West African universities from Ghana, Benin Republic, and Togo. For the very first time, NUGA has invited two top FASU EXCO members, the FASU President Mrs. Nomsa and Mrs. Peninnah, Sec. Gen and 3rd VP FISU, who both are the most powerful women in university sports in Africa and indeed in FISU. They would not just add glamour but stamp their approval for the 2024 FASU games to be co-hosted by LASU and UNILAG. What a privilege for them to meet the two Vice Chancellors of the host universities.

Is that just all? Really not. The technical crew for this year’s games are graded Sport Federation Referees and sport Arbiters. Meaning? The boys and girls would play according to the rules on top class facilities and equipment. Whoever therefore loses does so on account of the preparations made or lack of it. What we envisaged here too is that the athletes would give good account of themselves knowing there’s no bias in officiating.

How do we meet our mandate of raising athletes for the nation? We believe in the words of the Minister of Youths and Sports when he unveiled the games Mascot, though we agree there’s no net like delusion. July, 2022 will not be too far from March 2022. The World university games, otherwise known as FISU will be holding in China. We come cap in hand to the Minister of Youths and Sports to solicit support wherever needed to make this years FISU games not just a reality but a podium outing for Nigerian Student-athletes. We certainly know that the scale does not fatten the pig. The engagement of National Olympic committee NOC this year will be heart warming given the posture of Engr. Abu Gumel and his team who have already thrown their weight on the values of Olympics to Nigerian universities students. It begins here sir.

I assure you that this 2022 is a year holding out accomplishment of dreams, making visions vivid and hopes real. Make yourself part of its success story by throwing your hat in the ring.
Best regards.