Sports enthusiasts in Cross River have called for support for Nigeria’s Paralympics team presently participating in Paralympics games in Rio, Brazil.
A cross section of the fans spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews on Friday in Calabar.
According to them, supporting them will ginger the physically challenged athletes to do their best to improve on their performances to redeem Nigeria’s image at the ongoing game in Rio.
Donald Ekanem, a former sports administrator told NAN that the Paralympics team needed to do things differently from what their able bodied counterparts did few weeks back.
“We have always done well with the Paralympics team, so I want them to do better than our last outing in Rio. Nigerians should support them to do well,’’ he said.
A sports analyst, Umoh Daniel also urged the Federal Government to treat the Paralympics team with special attention so that they could do better.
“I have really not heard or read much about the level of their preparedness before the games.
“A lot depends on the government, if they prepared well, they will surely do well, but if the same treatment was meted to them like the last outing of the Nigerian team, then I do not think there is hope.
“But I pray for them and also urge Nigerians to pray for them so that they will try their best to redeem our image in sports,’’ he said.
Joseph Bassey, a student of physical education also stressed the need for Nigerians to encourage the team to do well in Rio.
He said that what the team needed was encouragement and support by all Nigerians, adding that the fallout of the performance of Nigeria few weeks ago was enough to dampen their spirit.
“I do not think they would perform better going by what happened few weeks ago, but with the support and encouragement of Nigerians, they can spring surprises.
“The government should treat them carefully, because of their peculiar situation. They need to be pampered by the government so as to give their best,’’ he stated.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Paralympics games began on Thursday in Rio with 23 athletes from Nigeria participating. (NAN)