Dalung: Hosting world para power-lifting championships non-negotiable

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Solomon Dalung, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, on Thursday said the country’s bid to host the 2019 World Para Powerlifting Championships was non-negotiable.

Dalung made the assertion at the end of the three-day International Paralympics Committee (IPC) competition hosting seminar and inspection of facilities for the World Championships in Lagos.

Dalung said the country had what it takes to host the world in powerlifting having hosted various international sports event.

“Lagos has been a sports city and hosted a lot of international events and they have expressed their desire to host the rest of the world in 2019.

“In the area of facility, security and accommodation, we are capable and the rest of the world should be rest assured of a befitting event and our undiluted hospitality if given the hosting right.

“In fact, our hosting right is non-negotiable and we strongly believe we will host the rest of the world,’’ he said.

The minister praised the Nigeria Para Powerlifting Federation (NPPF) for bringing honour to the country at various international stages, calling the body “A federation of every time’’.

Dalung said that the government would continue to support the progress of special sports in the country.

“Special sports are priority for us and the government has invested in it and has also got results as well, they have given us more medals than the able-bodied athletes over the years.

“We don’t see our athletes as disable rather we see them as people that contribute to the country in their own special way and their performance is their ability,’’ he said.

Sam Munkley, who led the World Powerlifting delegation to the country for the seminar and facilities inspection, said he was happy with the efforts by the country to host the world championships.

Munkley said that the country’s athletes are a force to reckon with in the sport globally, adding that other countries would be eager to learn from their success.

“I want to thank Nigerians for their hospitality and warm welcome since we arrived in Lagos on Monday.

“I am impressed with the effort everybody has made to ensure Nigeria wins the hosting right and that is what we will take back to the world body,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, Queen Obuh, the President of NPPF, has said that the country had ruled the world in powerlifting, noting that it was long overdue to host the world in the sport.

She commended the Minister and the Lagos State Government for supporting the body’s bid to host the rest of the world.

The president assured the world body that the country would not disappoint if given the right to host the event.

The proposed venue and hotels were inspected by officials of the international body.