Deputy Defense Minister, Mr. Sunday Atta, kicked off the Armed Forces Inter-Services Sports Competition 2022 (2022-AFISSC) in Abuja on Tuesday (20/9/22)
Written by Samila Ogbaji
Defense Minister Retired Major General. Bashir Magashi says physical fitness remains the cornerstone of troops’ combat readiness in the face of the myriad of security challenges facing the country.
Magashi, who was represented by Director of Army Affairs, Mr. Sunday Atta, said this at the opening of the Armed Forces Inter-Services Sports Competition 2022 (2022-AFISSC) on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said that physical fitness also helps to keep service personnel in the best condition to be able to carry out and achieve the tasks assigned to them.
The minister said that the inter-service sports competition, which was organized by the Defense Headquarters (DHQ), was designed to provide a platform for the services to interact with each other in order to maintain the good relationship that has been established and enjoyed over the years.
According to him, the importance of the physical fitness of armed forces like ours cannot be overemphasized, especially at this time when Nigeria is facing a myriad of security challenges.
“It is the individuals who are physically and mentally fit that make the difference in combat operations.
“These individuals who are physically and mentally fit are able to withstand harsh weather, terrain, and other harsh, stressful combat conditions.
Therefore, physical fitness remains the cornerstone of the combat readiness of the forces as it keeps service members in the best physical condition to enable them to perform and achieve the tasks assigned to them.
“In general, physical fitness is the foundation for good service personnel’s health and physical well-being,” he added.
Magashi said that the current security challenges facing the nation are enormous and, therefore, call for synergy and cooperation between the three agencies.
He said that avenues such as sports competition, should be constantly created to facilitate mutual interaction between forces.
The minister praised the forces for their efforts and sacrifices in facing security challenges, as well as Qatar’s management of organizing the sports competition.
He urged the participating athletes to imbibe sportsmanship and strive to achieve optimal performance to win the glories of their various services.
“Moreover, let fair play be your motto while focusing on the purpose of organizing this sports festival.
“I will not end my remarks without assuring you all of the unwavering commitment of the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, to ensuring the best conditions of work and welfare for the personnel of our Armed Forces.
He added, “He appreciates the great efforts and great sacrifices you are all making to keep our dear country, Nigeria, safe and prosperous.”
Chief of Defense Staff, General Lucky Erabor, said the event was aimed at strengthening relations between the forces, instilling discipline and a willingness to serve a common cause in the armed forces.
Erabor, who was represented by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, said that the friendly sports competition helps in furthering the desirable working relationship and enhances the synergy among the members of the armed forces.
This is because, he says, body fitness and mind satisfaction come more easily in the free atmosphere of the games.
What’s more, sport provides a foundation for the teamwork that forces need to be able to operate with the cohesion that is often called upon during military engagements and peacetime combat operations.
“As we all know, war is an arduous experience and being able to advance long distances with full combat gear through rugged terrain and fight effectively requires strength, agility and endurance from the troops.
“This can only be adapted through sports and effective fitness training.
As such, team sports have been found to provide both physical and psychological benefits that reduce stress, illness and injury, especially during operations.
“Accordingly, the physical fitness and mental alertness of personnel have become key considerations for the armed forces to meet the increasing demands of current and emerging threats,” he said.
Arbor said the army has made giant strides in encouraging individuals and their families to always get involved in sports through organized events such as the half marathon, children’s sports clinic and various sports tournaments.
The directorate said the competitions aimed to enhance synergy and cooperation between the Algerian armed forces and other security services, adding that it also encouraged the forces to build physical fitness and maintain combat readiness.
He said that many of the talents discovered from competitions of this kind were representing the country in various international sporting events and recording exploits.
According to him, the Cross Country team will be selected to represent Nigeria in the 58th World Military Cross Country Competition scheduled to be held in Beja, Portugal in October, from the inter-service sports competition.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that male and female athletes from the army, navy and air force are participating in the competition.
They will compete for laurels in basketball, cross country, soccer, taekwondo and volleyball. (nan) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Remy Coleuso / Mehrazo Ahmed
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