The Nigeria Archery Federation in collaboration with the Defence Headquarters has trained more than 100 military officers through a national workshop for beginners and capacity-building for intermediate archers.
Mohammed Abdullahi, president of the federation, disclosed this at the closing ceremony of the workshop held at the indoor sports hall of the Mogadishu Barracks in Abuja from Tuesday to Friday.
The participants who were drawn from the Nigerian Army, Navy and Air Force were engaged in a four-day theory and practical session.
Abdullahi said the training was necessary to create a team to represent the country at future events, adding that the performance of the participants was impressive.
“When we took over this federation, there was no national team. We had no already-made team on ground and we decided to do something about it.
“This is a game of precision and target. We had to bring the game to where it belongs (to the Armed Forces), because we know that part of their training is centered on target and that is what archery is about.
“The performance of the participants have been impressive. We have actually seen very intelligent and smart officers who were able to hit the overall target on the archery board.
“It’s a good sign for us as a federation and we are duty bound to encourage men of the Armed Forces to put in more effort so that in the nearest future we can have a team for global championships,’’ Abdullahi said.
One of the participants, Jechoniah Akila, a Colonel with the Nigerian Army and Executive Secretary of Nigeria’s chapter of the International Military Sports Council (CISM) lauded the idea of the workshop.
“The sports body in the Army always wants to train athletes for future competitions. So, this is a laudable effort and we are thankful to the federation for this workshop,’’ Akila said.
Also, Toyin Ogundele of the Defence Academy and an instructor said skills learnt from the sport would aid them in performing their duties.
“It is a welcome development and we laud the decision of the federation in bringing the game to the military.
“We all have been excited in being part of this training. The knowledge we have received will be impacted on others.
“We have been watching archery as computer games, but now we are practising it ourselves and since it is about shooting it is useful to us on the job,’’ Ogundele said.