The Nigeria Rowing, Canoe and Sailing Federation president, Rear Adm. Festus Porbeni (rtd) on Friday commissioned Admiral Porbeni Canoe and Kayak Lane at the Jabi Boat Club Abuja.
“I put this up because when I found out that football has stadium, boxing has gym but rowing has nowhere and saw no reason why rowing would not feature in the Sports Festival,” he said.
First and foremost, there was a time Nigeria wanted to host commonwealth games and we found out that we had no lane for rowing and it annoyed me that we could not host the Games.
Speaking on the federations’ preparation towards the upcoming All Africa games and Tokyo 2020, Porbeni said “we are already planning towards it and that’s why we will use this National Sports Festival to select our athletes for the All Africa Games and Tokyo 2020. Once the athletes are selected, they will be based in this town.”
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development Mr. Olusade Adesola who was represented by the Director of Grassroots Sports Development Dr, Ademola Are has said the sports ministry will cooperate fully with the Rowing and yachting Federation to utilise maximally the Olympics lanes for podium success of the country.
“This is in line with what President Muhammadu Buhari has been preaching, this is change in the podium process for Nigeria in future sporting programs.
“With the cooperation of the boat club management and the enthusiasm of Rear Adm. Festus Porbeni, Nigeria should look forward to more medals in rowing,” he concluded.
The Olympic standard Kayak Lane which cover a total distance of 1000 meter is expected to host the canoeing events of the ongoing 19th edition of the National Sports Festival.