Youth and Sports Development Minister Sunday Dare urged the Nigerian team to avoid doping and compete cleanly to win medals for Nigeria at the Tokyo Olympics.
The minister gave the charge on Tuesday in Abuja while bidding farewell to Team Nigeria’s first group in Japan.
“Our departure for the Games today is proof that by working in unison, we can collectively achieve all that we have set for ourselves as human beings.
“I urge you to make the nation proud at the Games by competing properly and bringing glory to your homeland,” he said.
Dare said the federal government has committed a lot of resources to ensure adequate preparation that would allow athletes to win medals.
He assured that plans had been made for President Muhammadu Buhari to also bid farewell to some of the athletes while unveiling the official Nigerian team uniform.
“The President will officially unveil the official Nigeria team uniform for the Games when the contingent is presented to his Excellency,” he said.
The Nigeria News Agency (NAN) reports that the Nigeria team will travel to the town of Kizarazu in Japan for training camp ahead of the four-group Games.
The first group that left for Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja immediately after the ceremony included canoe, rowing and table tennis athletes, coaches and officials.
The second group comprising track and field, taekwondo and wrestling will depart on July 13.
The third batch of gymnastics and badminton will leave on July 17, while the final batch comprising men’s and women’s basketball teams will leave on July 19.
Previously, Nigerian Olympic Committee President Habu Gumel has so far said 58 athletes have qualified for the Games, along with 22 coaches in nine sports.
He stressed the need for athletes to be good ambassadors for the country while respecting all COVID-19 protocols at the Games.
“After years of training and competition, you have become the best of the best athletes worthy of representing Nigeria in the greatest sporting spectacle on planet Earth.
“I have no doubt in my mind that you will be worthy ambassadors in Japan, you will excel at the podium level to make our national anthem resonate in Tokyo,” said Gumel.
NAN reports that the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8. (NAN)