The Nigerian Rowing Canoe Sailing Federation has been given a marching under to win at least two gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics, even as Admiral Festus Porbeni received commendation for his sacrifices and commitment over the years.
Speaking at the 2021 Annual Admiral Porbeni Boat Race at the Jabi Lake, Abuja over the weekend, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development Mr Sunday Dare said
” I commend Admiral Porbeni for his commitment to this annual race and for making Boat Race popular in the last couple of years. With what I have seen, we can now compete with the best in the world.His efforts has not only improved our ratings as the number one country in Africa, it has ensured that we qualified for the Olympics and Paralympics in Para, Canoeing and Para Rowing. Be rest assured of the Ministry’s commitment and support to actualize the dreams of our athletes to win laurels for our fatherland. I have already marked Boat race to win two gold medals for us at the Olympics. We shall support your training anywhere in the country so that this dream can become a reality”
The Minister further said” I’m most encouraged by your zeal and commitment which is in line with our public private partnership initiative. The birth of a new sports Industry Policy which is the final stage of assent would bring about changes that would attract sponsors and take care of the welfare of athletes.This should motivate other Federations to key into the vision of the Ministry of Youth and sports Development.
According to Admiral Porbeni ” The fruition of this event, especially at a critical time in our national life is a testament to the commitment and resolve of the board of the Nigerian Rowing Canoe and Sailing Federation to develop the sports. We shall not relent in this course.”
13 States, 2 clubs and few individuals took part in the event with States presenting only 6 participants for each event .