By Ijeoma Okigbo
The Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) on Thursday in Abuja distributed cricket equipment to 14 schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to enhance the sport’s development.
Yahaya Ukwenya, Chairman of NCF Caretaker Committee, said the distribution was part of the accelerated grassroots programme of the federation.
Ukwenya, who unveiled the 2,000 sets of cricket equipment at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, said the first 1,000 would be distributed to all 36 states.
He said this was with a target of 20,000 kids in the first six months.
“This is to accelerate grassroots cricket development in Nigeria.
” We are trying to grow the game at a faster pace than we have done in the past by bringing the country’s population into the development of cricket.
“We have a huge population of school children and, as a country, we need to bring both the strength and diversity of that population to every aspect of life, especially sports.
“The purpose is to see that more children get into cricket. By so doing, they will imbibe some of the principles of the game.
“Through this program, we are hoping that we should be able to bring about 250,000 kids annually into cricket nationwide,” Ukwenya added.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, who was represented by Adamu Elijah, an Assistant Director in the ministry, said he was impressed with the development.
“This is one of the mandate of the ministry, supporting federations who have grassroots initiatives.
“I am very impressed with what I have seen and I laud the efforts of the NCF and implore other federations to follow suit,” Dare said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the schools whose students received cricket equipment include Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS) Dutse and Government Secondary School (GSS) Garki.
Others are GSS Tundun Wada, Junior Secondary School (JSS) Asokoro, GSS Karu and GSS Pyakasa. (NAN)