THE Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA) has called for help as it fears the country could fail to attend the 2023 World University Games in Chengdu, China due to a lack of funds.
The Games, which bring together the best student-athletes from across the world, are scheduled for July 28 to August 8.
NUGA recently held its tryouts in Benin City and selected athletes from various sporting disciplines, but it is now looking likely that the exercise was all in vain.
“The Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA) is deeply concerned to announce that Nigeria is on the verge of missing out on the prestigious World University Games, scheduled to be held from 28th July to 8th August 2023 in Chengdu, China,” the body says in a statement made available to Naija Times today and signed by Chidiebere Ezeani, the acting secretary general.
“This unfortunate situation arises from a severe lack of funding, jeopardising the participation of our talented student athletes who have been selected to represent our nation.
“NUGA, the governing body for university sports in Nigeria, has painstakingly chosen 75 exceptional student athletes to compete across seven different sports at the World University Games.
“These athletes have dedicated themselves to rigorous training and have showcased exceptional skills and talent, making us immensely proud. However, their dreams of competing at this international event are at risk due to the scarcity of financial support.”
Ezeani expressed the urgent need for assistance, noting: “We appeal to the government to come to our aid and support our athletes to the World University Games.
“We call upon the government, sports authorities, and corporate sponsors to recognise the immense value of investing in university athletes. They are the future of Nigerian sports, and their success will inspire generations to come.”
NUGA added that World University Games is a platform that not only showcases sporting excellence but also fosters cultural exchange and global camaraderie among student athletes from around the world.
“It is an opportunity for Nigeria to demonstrate our sporting prowess, enhance our international reputation, and inspire future generations of athletes,” the body added.
“NUGA implores the government, sports authorities, and corporate sponsors to step forward and provide the necessary financial support to ensure Nigeria’s participation at the World University Games. With timely assistance, we can empower our talented athletes to represent our great nation with pride, resilience, and determination.
“Time is of the essence, as the World University Games draw near. NUGA urgently appeals to all stakeholders to recognize the crucial role university athletes play in shaping the future of Nigerian sports. By investing in their journey to Chengdu, we invest in the development of Nigerian sports and the inspiration of generations to come.”