6th July, 2012
The fourth edition of the Chief of Naval Staff Open Swimming tourney will run from 12-14 July 2012. The Nigeria Swimming Federation and the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ola S Ibrahim are both doing all within their means to make the event a success.
Thirty two swimmers 16 male and female are expected to participate in the three-day swimming tourney include. There would be 28 individual and 14 relay events
There would also be events for the Armed Forces; Police, universities and open tourney.
Chairman of the Main Organising Committee, MOC, Commodore Babalola Egbedina disclosed that they have also set aside prizes for the best male and female swimmers adding that the 14 best swimmers in the relays will also receive prizes.
President of Nigeria Swimming Federation, Babatunde Fatai- Williams expressed joy ahead of the event hinting that the first edition was held in year 2000 and after a decade the second was held in Kaduna, while the third was staged in Ilorin, Kwara State last and now they are taking it to Calabar.
He expressed joy that the event is now an annual event and believed that it would go a long way in developing and creating healthy rivalries among swimmers in the country.
According to Fatai- Williams ‘As far as Nigeria concentrates on one sport, others like swimming, we don’t have facilities to run a long term programme.
That’s why South Africa will continue to rule Africa, National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos is nothing to write home about, Abuja one not here or there, we have to pay for chemicals and many others at various stadia we hold competitions, government has to fund training, upgrade facilities and stage competitions like the United States of America, USA invest a lot to train swimmers, Nigeria don’t use the power of sports well’.
Egbedina , who is also the Vice President of the Nigeria Swimming Federation, said ‘Roadmap for swimmers discovered in Calabar, opportunity exists for them to enter for many competition, get more sponsorship and represent Nigeria in international competitions’.