The official Mascot and Logo for the 19th National Sports Festival billed for Abuja from December 6th -16th 2018 were unveiled Tuesday September 11, 2018 at a Media briefing.
On the occasion which took place at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja, Barrister Dalung said the inability of Cross River state to host the event following several postponements, led to the take- over by the federal government.
“The federal Government realizing the collateral damage that the unending postponements of the festival portends for sports development in Nigeria, accepted the resolution of the National Council of Sports to take over the hosting and organization of the games in 2018 with Abuja as the host city.
“When I inaugurated the Main Organising Committee, I charged the members to rebrand and repackage the festival to make it attractive to sponsors. A partnership agreement was signed with Greenfield Assets Limited to work with the ministry to rebrand, market and re-package 5 editions of the National Sports Festival”.
Following the rebranding of the games, the number of sports to be featured at the games has been increased from 25 to 37 with a landmark participation of over 10,000 athletes and officials.
The Minister stated that the objective is to give more Nigerians the opportunity to be part of the fiesta and have a sense of belonging.
“As part of the packaging and rebranding of the games, a permanent logo which will serve as an identity of the festival has been designed and approved” Dalung said.
In the same vein, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja Mallam Mohammed Musa Bello stated that measures have been put in place to ensure a hitch free games.
“The school calendar has been adjusted to accommodate the games. For the first time, schools in and around Abuja will vacate on the first week of December 2018.
“We are working with all relevant agencies to ensure security of persons and facilities from the arrival of participants to the venues to their departure.
“I can assure you that all transport logistics shall be in place before the opening ceremony of the games. In addition, all Commissioners in the FCT have been directed to give maximum cooperation to the LOC and MOC to ensure a smooth and hitch-free hosting of the games.
While unveiling the mascot, the Minister who was represented by the FCT Permanent Secretary Mr Chinyeaka Ohaa spoke on its significance.
“The logo of the games depicts the gate of the Federal Capital territory which grants access to all Nigerians and foreigners. It symbolizes the unity and identity of Abuja which is known for peace and unity.”
The registration portal of the official website of the Games www.nigeriasportsfestival.org will open on Monday Sept 17, 2018.
The NSF will be preceded by activities including pre- games dinners to sensitize Nigerians and create enormous publicity and awareness for the games.
Other events include a Media lunch on September 11, Pre- Festival Road show and concert on September 15, London concert and carnival on September 28, Atlanta concert and carnival on September 30, Lagos/ Abuja Concert and carnival on October 1 and Nationwide roadshow on Oct 2-28.
The Movement of the Torch of Unity fashioned after Olympic Torch and the Commonwealth games Baton Relay will be flagged off by Mr President at the Presidential Villa on October 1, 2018. The Torch will tour the 36 states of the Federation before returning to the FCT on Dec 6, 2018 for the opening ceremony.