By Anayo Onukwugha, Port Harcourt
President of Rowing, Sailing and Canoeing Federation of Nigeria, Admiral Festus Porbeni, has challenged the federal government to pay attention to the development of water sports on the country.
Porbeni disclosed this when the new leadership of the Rivers State chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) paid him a courtesy visit in Port Harcourt.
He described water sports as a non-contact sporting event, saying that in sports competitions, water sports can attract up to 26 medals while other sports gets only one medal each.
Porbeni, who is also a former Minister of Transport, assured SWAN that sponsor the yearly Henry Kalio 5-Aside Football tournament, organised in honour of Chairman of the association in the state, late Henry Kalio.
Earlier in his remarks, newly elected Chairman of SWAN in the state, Udede Jim Opiki, said waters sports came to life in Nigeria with the emergence of Porbeni as Canoeing Federation President.
Opiki said: “We are aware that you have contributed immensely to water sports in Nigeria. Water sports came back to life when you came on board.
“Through you people now know that sailing is an Olympic sports that people can participate in. It shows that high level of commitment you have shown in water sports in this country.”