Rugby’s return to National Sports Festival is “Sweet News”

Rugby’s return to National Sports Festival is “Sweet News”

Rugby has been granted optional status at the 2020 National Sports Festival, making a return to the games.

The announcement was made on Thursday in Edo state, during the extra-ordinary meeting of the national council on Sports.

“A maximum of 32 sports shall feature at the Festival (27 compulsory and 5 optional) This is in line with practices obtainable in the organization of major International Games i.e. Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, Continental Games etc. It is to reduce the burden of hosting, organizing and participating in the festival.”
The compulsory sports were selected based on; Popularity of the sport in the 36 states and FCT, State entries in the sport in previous Festivals, Standard of Nigeria’s participation in the sport at the International level.
1. Athletics
2. Badminton
3. Basketball
4. Beach Volleyball
5. Boxing
6. Chess
8. Football
9. Gymnastics
10. Handball
11. Hockey
12. Judo
14. Kickboxing
15. Kung-fu
16. Para- Athletics
17. Para- Powerlifting
18. Para- Table Tennis
19. Scrabble
20. Squash
21. Swimming
22. Table Tennis
23. Tennis
24. Taekwondo
25. Volleyball ( Indoor)
26. Weightlifting
27. Wrestling
1. Amputee Football
2. Canoeing
3. Cricket
4. Darts
5. Deaf sports ( male and female sprint event in Athletics.
6. Fives
7. Golf
8. Para Shooting
9. Para Soccer
10. Para Swimming
11. Para Taekwondo
12. Rowing
13. Rugby
14. Sailing
15. Shooting
16. Sitting volleyball
17. Traditional boxing (Dambe)
18. Traditional sport ( Abuja)
19. Traditional Sport ( Ayo)
20. Traditional Sport ( Langa)
21. Traditional Wrestling ( Kokawa)
22. Wheelchair Basketball
23. Wheelchair Tennis
24. Yachting

Rugby along with 23 other sports were granted the optional Sports Status, while 24 sports retained their “Compulsory” sports status.


Speaking on the importance of the declaration, Head Coach of Edo State Rugby, Mr. Ntiense Williams told that the news is “very sweet” because it comes as victory for advocates of the sport.


However, he said there had been several efforts in the past; to “lobby”, for Rugby’s return as a compulsory sport, but insists the optional sport status is a step in a positive direction.

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