National Sports Festival: 10,000 athletes, officials to participate

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No fewer than 10,000 athletes and officials will participate in the 2018 National Sports Festival (NSF), which begins in Abuja from Dec 6 to Dec.  16.
The Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung  said this at a news conference in Abuja.
Dalung said that the NSF since inception in 1973, had been organised without a visible sponsor,  this he said informed the agreement with Messrs Greenfield.
According to him,  Messrs Greenfield would work with the ministry to re-brand,  repackage, market and deliver five editions of the NSF.
“This agreement will subsist for the next ten years.  To this end,  a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) known as ‘National Sports Festival Marketing and Management Company’  has been set up to drive the process.
“One of the fallout of this agreement is the number of sports to feature at the 19th NSF has been increased to 37 from 25.
“It is expected that the festival will have a landmark athletes and officials participation of over 10,000,” he said.
Dalung said this was to give more Nigerians opportunity to be part of the fiesta and have a sense of belonging.
Unveiling the permanent logo and the Mascot for NSF as part of the re-branding and repackaging process,  Dalung said this would serve as the identity of the festival.
Dalung disclosed that a registration portal on the festival would be opened on Monday, Sept. 17, to enable all participants register online for the festival.
He listed programmes line up ahead of the festival to include: Abuja NSF Pre Festival Roadshow and Concert on Sept. 15 while the London concert/carnival holds on Sept.  28.
Other activities are,  Atlanta concert/carnival, Sept. 30. Lagos and Abuja concert/Carnival, Oct. 1, Nationwide NSF Roadshows/Storms, Oct. 2 to Oct.  28.
Dalung said that the movement of Torch of Unity, fashioned after the Olympics Torch and Commonwealth Baton would be inaugurated by President Muhammadu Bulgari on Oct.  1.
Also speaking,  the FCT Minister, Malam Mohammed Bello, said schools in the territory had been programmed to accommodate the festival.
Bello, who was represented by Permanent  Secretary, FCT,  Christian Ohaa, said schools in the FCT would close by the first week of December.