In a bid to improve the performance of Nigerian sportsmen and women at the continental and global level, the Nigerian Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has expanded the National Principals’ Cup to accommodate other sports other than just football. The expansion has seen the inclusion of Athletics, Boxing, Table Tennis, and Badminton. The Nigerian sports minister, Sunday Dare, revealed this information during the logo and brand ambassador unveiling in Lagos and noted that it is part of moves by the ministry to revamp the long-abandoned talent identification tournament and also fulfil the mandate of the ministry to expand catchment areas for grassroots sports development in Nigeria.
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In the past, the Principals’ Cup was a football tournament for secondary school students where schools that emerge as champions at the state level, go on to compete at the national level for the title. This event saw to the identification of numerous soccer talents that went on to write their names in the country and world football history as one of the finest footballers ever seen. Some of them include the late Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, Sunday Oliseh, Daniel Amokachi, Henry Nwosu, Jonathan Akpoborie, Joseph Dosu, among others.
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‘As the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, I have a firm belief that the only road to sustained podium performances by our sportsmen and women is a return to the basics.’
The initiative of the minister is undoubtedly one of the measures necessary towards making Nigeria a force to reckon with when it comes to athletic performance at the global level.
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