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Africa Para Championships: Akwa Ibom Athletes Off To South Africa, Morocco



Joel Ajayi

Two Akwa Ibom U-18 female athletes Ability Udoh and Maria-Patience Akpan are on their way to the International Para Athletics Championships in Morocco and South Africa slated for this month.

National Youth Games 100m record holder Ability Udoh is scheduled to compete in 100m, 200m and 400m as well as in Long and High Jump T-46 events in the competition in Morocco from 5-14 March 2023.

The competition will also serve as the qualifiers for the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris, France.

Ability Udoh made history at the just concluded National Sports Festival in Delta State where she set a new national record in the High Jump event, clearing a height of 1.45m to emerge the champion.

Also in 2022 at the Para Games in Abuja, Ability stormed to victory winning three gold medals and three silver medals for Akwa Ibom State.

While Ability Udoh will be in Morocco, Maria-Patience Akpan who was discovered last year during an Inter-House Sports competition at Community Secondary Commercial School, Ibiaku Itam, will be making her debut at the international stage as she is scheduled to compete in 100m (CP) in the Commonwealth Youth Games in Cape Town, South Africa from 14-22 March, 2023.

Coach of the two athletes Elizabeth Akpan expressed optimism that the youngsters have what it takes to shine at the global stage but stressed that they need all the support they can get to ensure they succeed.

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Sports Minister Hands Over Leadership To Permanent Secretary



The Honourable Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr. Sunday Dare has handed over the leadership of the Ministry to the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar as the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration ended on Monday. 

At the Handing Over Ceremony held today at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, the Minister thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for giving him the opportunity to serve his Fatherland. 

He stated that the appointment enabled him to have a better knowledge and understanding of the challenges of governance as well as that of the youth in particular, adding that it also afforded him with the opportunity to  look out ways to profer solutions on complex issues in relation to governance. 

Dare who stated further that the portfolio also afforded him the avenue to encourage Nigerian youth to take up sports as a career for the socio-economic development of the country, called on them to also support the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration for enhanced development of the sector.

Responding, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar commended Mr. Sunday Dare for his laudable initiatives in the Ministry.

While thanking the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration for creating an enabling environment for the sector to thrive, he pledged the support and cooperation of the staff and Management of the Ministry to the in coming Administration led by President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

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