The Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the 26th Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA) has said that over 10,000 athletes will compete when hostilities begin at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) in March, 2022.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, told journalists, at the Senate Chamber of the university that a total of 136 universities will compete at the Games.
He revealed that the mascot for the Games would be unveiled on November 26.
Ogundipe stated that adequate security arrangements would be made by the institution and Lagos State government, adding: “Over 300 CCTV cameras will be installed on our campus here in Akoka, Yaba and Idi Araba. We will use the NUGA Games to prove to the world that UNILAG is the university of the first choice. Here, we are able to balance academic activities with sports.”
Ogundipe also hinted that UNILAG would team up with the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to get names of eligible students so as to avoid the use of mercenaries by some desperate universities.
He urged Nigerians and corporate organisations to rally around the LOC in its bid to stage the best NUGA Games in 2022.
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The 26th NUGA Game was earlier scheduled for 2020, but will now hold in March next year.
Speaking on the benefits of the games, the VC said academic institutions are not just for academic activities but that knowledge must be all-round.
He said apart from exposing the students to other opportunities, it is another way of selling the university’s brand to the world.
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The vice-chancellor, who blamed the postponement of the game on the COVID-19, said the university will ensure that all protocols against the spread of the virus are strictly observed.
He said appropriate committees have been put in place for that.
The NUGA was formed in July 1965, shortly after the 1st West African University Games was held at the University of Ibadan earlier that year.
In 1970, NUGA became a member of the World Federation of University Games, and in 1974, it became a founding member of the All-Africa University Games Association.
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Presently, there are over eighty universities as members of NUGA, both private and public owned.
The games have grown overtime to sixteen namely: Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Chess, Cricket, Football, Handball, Hockey, Judo, Scrabble, Squash, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis and Volleyball.