Navy trains 45 children for future championships
The Nigerian Navy said on Monday that it had trained 45 children, aged between 5 to 15 years in golf to represent the country in future championships.
Navy Capt. Victor Choji, the Base Operations Officer, Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder, Port Harcourt, disclosed this at the closing ceremony of the First Children Golf Holiday Championship in Port Harcourt.
Choji said the children comprising of primary school pupils and secondary school children, were drawn from various communities in Rivers.
He said the championship was organised to achieve three purposes, such as, maintaining and improving civil-military relations; boosting security and discovery of talents.
“The golf programme seeks to engage children constructively, especially during holiday period and also to introduce them to the game of golf.
“We believe that most criminal acts are perpetrated by the youths, and so, if we catch kids young and we make them develop interest in sports, the country will be better for it.
“If this is done, the children will have more positive and constructive activities to engage themselves as they grow up rather than involving themselves in criminal activities.
“The programme is also designed to win the hearts and minds of our host communities while hoping that some of the kids would go on to represent Nigeria in future golf championships,” he said.
Choji said the naval headquarters had similar sporting events to keep officers and ratings fit while improving their proficiency in various marine operations ongoing in the Niger Delta.
He said the programme would be sustained and urged children to be available in next edition of the event.
Managing Director of Amnipet, an oil and gas firm, Ishiaku Malik, said that lack of investment in grassroots sports was partly responsible for poor showing of the country in major tournaments.
He said the golf championship would give children the opportunity to develop interest in sports and become great athletes.
“In the past, inter-house sports competition was taken seriously, but these days, you hardly see such programmes designed to discover young talents.
“So, this event will help to discover and possible harness talents that will represent and make Nigeria proud in sporting competitions,” he said.
Malik urged the navy to engage corporate organisations to expand the championship to accommodating more children.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that prizes such as laptops and text books were presented to the participating children.
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