Delta State wins 9th CNS National Swimming Championship
Delta State on Saturday emerged the gold medalist of the 9th Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) National Swimming Championship, which held from the 1st – 4th September, 2021, at the National Stadium Swimming Pool, Surulere Lagos.
The silver medal went to the Nigeria Police swimming team, while the Nigerian Army team emerged third to go home with the bronze medal.
The CNS National Swimming Championship is organised by the Nigeria Aquatics Federation.
Speaking at the closing ceremony on Saturday, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Awwal Gambo, represented by Rear Admiral Habila Zakaria, described the championship as the navy’s contribution to encouraging swimming as a sporting activity in Nigeria.
He said that the essence was to ensure sustainability of the effort in grooming young talents for the sports.
His words: “The championship is the modest contribution of the Nigerian Navy to the Aquatics Federation. And in this case, it is to be able to bring out talents, young talents that the Aquatics Federation can mentor.
“I have seen a lot of young kids coming here and competing in the length of this 50 metres swimming and it is very interesting. As they are mentored from this young age, they will grow into senior champions in this sport,” the CNS said.
Speaking also, celebrated swimming coach, Mr. Daniel Emoghene, who over the years trained the present crop of coaches, shared his experience of having to go around the country training swimmers in their immediate environment, polishing the raw talents and grooming them into professional swimmers.
He said; ‘We were very few in those days, but the swimmers I trained, who now coach, have made sure that they increased the number of swimmers in the country.
“You can see that nearly all the states are represented, but it was just the national coach alone who was going around in those days.
“I remember setting up Ondo, which did not have swimmers at all. I had to travel from here to Ikare, Oke-agbe, Igbokoda, even swimming in the river to produce some of these coaches.
“It is a pleasure to see that my work as a swimming coach is not in vain. This crop of coaches will produce great swimmers up to the Olympics standards.”
Some of the categories of the competition on the closing ceremony were 200m breaststroke (W&M), 50m butterfly (G&W), 50m butterfly (B&M), mixed 4x 50m medley relay juniors, mixed 4x 100m medley relay seniors.
Also, prominent at the Swimming Championship were; Hon Sunday Dare; Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development who was ably represented, the Chairman of the Competition Jury of Appeal, Rear Admiral Olusegun Egbedina (rtd), the Director of Sports Naval Headquarters, Commodore Ismaila Zelani amongst other distinguished dignitaries.
In a closing remark, Chairman of the Nigeria Aquatics Federation, Babatunde Fatayi-Williams, said that part of efforts to improve the sports led the Aquatic Federation to add the Junior (Secondary Schools) category to the 9th CNS National Swimming Championship.
The Nigeria Aquatics Federation is the sports organisation governing the aquatic disciplines if swimming, open water swimming, water polo, diving, synchronised swimming , high diving and masters swimming in Nigeria.
The Federation is affiliated to the African Swimming Confederation (CANA), the International Swimming Federation (FINA), and the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC).