Team Nigeria is set to take part in the first 2019 Africa Beach Games scheduled to hold at the Santa Maria Beach in Sal Island, Cape Verde from June 14 to 23.
According to the organisers, 54 countries and 1000 athletes from across Africa will participate in 11 sports at the maiden Africa Beach Games Championship, which is also aimed at giving African youths the opportunity to hone their skills in different sports at the beach side.
Speaking at the weekend on the event, the CEO of Sal 2019 African Beach Games, Yann Mikael LEE Craven said the games would also be used to educate athletes on how to keep the environment clean through effective ways to dispose trash and used containers.
Craven said his organisation came to the country with the support of the Ooni of Ife Global Outreach in order to create awareness of the games through the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) and to ensure that the sports federation remains active in beach sports.
He said Nigeria had indicated interest to feature in half marathon, beach soccer, beach volleyball and freestyle football events, adding that any other event that the country was interested in before the beginning of the championship should be recorded and sent to the organisers for onward review.
Craven assured that all the participating teams at the championship would enjoy their stay in Cape Verde, stressing that safety measures had been put in place to protect athletes at the beach during the games.
He called on various sports federations interested in Beach sports to register for the African Beach Games.
"The first African Beach Games is organised to promote youths development in sports. Male and female of 18 years and above are eligible to take part in any sport at the event. We came to Nigeria to give the Nigeria Olympic Committee more insight on the reason Nigeria should send a contingent to Cape Verde. Most of the logistics of the athletes would be taking care off by the organisers through the Nigeria Olympic Committee.
"The championship is important because it will pave way for Nigeria and other African countries to take part in the 2019 San Diego USA first beach world games in August. The theme of the event is tagged the Horizon in Cape Verde as a mark to advertise the country's rich cultures to the world through sports and also exchange the rich culture of African heritage," he said.
Some of the sports listed for the African Beach Games are beach volleyball, 3×3 basketball, coastal rowing, open water swimming, kite board, freestyle football, karate and athletics.