Daily Trust (Abuja)

4 February 2013

Nigeria: Team Cross River Emerges Winner of Fifth School Sports Festival

Team Cross River emerged the overall winner of the 5th National School Sports Festival (NSSF) which ended in Port Harcourt, the Rivers capital, on Saturday.

They clinched a total of 264 medals to beat their closest rival, Delta, to the second position.

Cross River won 89 gold, 88 silver and 87 bronze medals, while second-placed Delta won a total 234 medals, made up of 81 gold, 85 silver, and 68 bronze.

Team Rivers finished in the third position, having notched up 154 medals -- 56 gold, 38 silver and 60 bronze medals.

Mrs Helen Martin, Cross River weightlifting coach, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt that the victory was as a result of hard work and determination.

"I know all the states desired to win, but I thank God that the essence of the Games was not defeated.

National School Sports Federation (NSSF) president, Ibrahim Mohammed, said that the competition was not only to win laurels, but to also promote unity and widen the horizon of the participants.

Mohammed noted that the festival had helped the children to know the other side of their country.

He frowned at some states that could not participate at the 10-day Games, urging every state in the country to embrace school sports.

"I am not happy with some states that did not come for the festival; states like Imo, Bayelsa, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara.

"NSSF is the best way to develop sports in any nation, but I don't know why these states cannot support school sports," Mohammed said.

The Federal Capital Territory (FTC) and Borno, however, did not win any medal at the fiestal.

The festival held between Jan. 24 to Feb. 2.

NAN

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