Sports Ministry to Promote Deaf Sports Inclusiveness Following Deaf Eagles’ World Championships Appearance

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Abuja – Senator John Owan Enoh, Nigeria’s Honourable Minister of Sports Development, is gearing up to usher in a new era of inclusivity in the sports sector, specifically for deaf athletes. This commitment comes in the wake of the “Deaf Eagles,” Nigeria’s Men’s Deaf football team, making their first-ever appearance at the 4th World Deaf Football Championships held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Deaf Eagles’ exceptional performance in representing Nigeria on the global stage received commendation from the Minister. He recognized their dedication, marking a historical milestone by hoisting the Nigerian flag at an event they had not attended since its inception in 2008.

“In three previous editions, Nigeria was not represented, but for the first time ever, the Nigerian flag was hoisted at the Games courtesy of your hard work. This deserves that we appreciate and commend you,” Senator Enoh said.

The Minister emphasized that sports are a powerful tool for social inclusion, promoting diversity, equity, and participation in society. He noted, “There is no greater demonstration of the social inclusiveness of sports than having a deaf team travel to represent Nigeria.”

Finishing 11th among 25 countries at the World Championships, the Deaf Eagles’ feat is a significant accomplishment, marking Nigeria on the world sports map. Senator Enoh, on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, celebrated the team’s remarkable dedication to the nation.

In a bid to foster the development of deaf sports, the Minister pledged to work with relevant sports administrators to ensure deaf sports secure a guaranteed place in the National Sports Festival. Furthermore, he stated that his administration is keen to introduce deaf sports as an official event in the National Youth Games.

This commitment was warmly received by Alhaji Sulieman Saka Dagbo, President of the Deaf Sports Federation. He expressed gratitude for the honor of a Minister receiving the team, a first-time experience despite their previous achievements at continental and global levels.

“To ensure better performance in subsequent competitions, we will build on this honor. We did not expect that a Minister would show up to receive us honorably,” Dagbo stated.

The team’s coach, Kamaldeen Banjo, recounted their exceptional performance at the World Championships, emphasizing the importance of the Minister’s support.

The Minister, in a bid to further empower the Deaf Eagles, swiftly approved accommodation and allowances for the team.

With the Ministry’s renewed commitment to promoting deaf sports and fostering inclusivity, it is poised to make deaf sports mandatory, opening a new chapter of opportunities for deaf athletes in Nigeria.