The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has held its 2017 Annual 10-Kilometre Walk/Jog Competition for officers, airmen and airwomen serving in Abuja. The annual competition, which took place in the early hours of today, is among the several sporting activities instituted by the NAF as part of deliberate efforts aimed at promoting physical fitness and healthy lifestyle among personnel. Participants, which also included dependants, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members and civilian staff, defied the early downpour to take part in the exciting competition.
The Guest of Honour and the Honourable Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Barrister Solomon Dalung, who was represented by the Deputy Director of Institutional Sports, Dr (Mrs) Esther Aluko, congratulated the NAF for successfully organizing the competition. The Minister’s representative stated that the benefits of sporting activities to human existence included mental alertness, long life, sound mind and general wellbeing. She then called on the Armed Forces and other security agencies to consider including the civil populace while organising any sporting event. “This would go a long way in promoting good civil military relationship and also improving the standard of our sportsmen and women. Nigeria is a sports-loving nation, and this collaboration will keep our youths busy and reduce crime on our streets”, she said.
Earlier in his address, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, described physical fitness as a pivotal tool for human beings, especially members of the Armed Forces, to effectively discharge their statutory responsibilities. The CAS also used the opportunity to disclose that the NAF had made significant progress in various theatres of operations in the country and thus urged NAF personnel to redouble their efforts in ensuring the security of lives and properties of Nigerians at all times. Air Marshal Abubakar equally commented on the capacity building initiatives of his administration and the recent restructuring of the NAF to facilitate efficient and effective service delivery. He then promised that the NAF would continue to give utmost priority to the general welfare of its personnel and their families towards sustaining the high morale of the fighting troops. Highlights of the event included the presentation of prizes to winners in various categories of the competition. It would be recalled that a few months ago, the same competition was held in various NAF Commands and units across the country.