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Nigeria marks Olympic Day with 6.5 km run in FCT

As the world marked the 2016 Olympic Day on Saturday, Nigerians are advised to engage in exercises daily to maintain healthy lives.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigerians living in the Federal Capital Territory marked the 2016 Olympic Day with a 6.5km run in Abuja.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, who led the run from the Old Parade Ground through Area 3 to 10, called on Nigerians to exercise as part of their daily routine.

He said that exercise was important to the wellbeing of man, hence the need for people to engage in it to keep fit and prolong their lives.

“The Nigerian Army is one of the organisations that rely on physical fitness and anything that has to do with fitness, we will be glad to be part of it,’’ he said.

The President, Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC), Habu Gumel, presented certificates after the run to the Chief of Army Staff and the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung.

He also presented to the FCT Minister, Alhaji Muhammad Bello, and congratulated them for taking part in the exercise.

He said the essence was for people to keep fit and remain in good health, highlight the benefits of sports and learn the benefits of Olympic values.

Gumel said that the event which was shifted to July 2 from June 25 due to the nationwide environmental sanitation was celebrated in over 25 states.

“The day is celebrated worldwide, it is important for people to once in a while observe walking, jogging and run to keep their body healthy,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, Dalung who was represented by Hawa Akinyemi, Director, Federation of Elite Athletes Development (FEAD) in the ministry, said the Day was to celebrate sports and its values.

She said the day was to remind Nigerians that exercise held a lot to help mankind stay healthy through sports as a way of life.

“Nigerians should know that physical exercise helps us to feel better, to have more energy and to live longer. It also prevents excessive weight gain and helps to maintain weight loss,’’ she said.

The representative of the FCT Minister, Dilichukwu Onyedima, Director of Sports in the Federal Capital Territory, said the day was to create awareness and inform the populace of the importance of sports.

Onyedima said that sports were for the overall wellbeing of man and the essence of man’s existence.

She said man needed to keep fit to stay alive and away from the hospital, adding that it was important because it would help us to save the little money that was available.

Also speaking, the FCT Chapter Chairman of Nigeria Sports For All Commission, Sikiru Adeola, said that Olympic Day was for people to come together and learn Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect.

He said the goal of Olympics was to place sport at the service of harmonious development of mankind with a view to promote peaceful story concerned with the preservation of human dignity.

“We encourage everyone to discover that sport for all is a physical activity that everyone can include in his daily routine,’’ he said.

NAN reports that the run was attended by military men, heads of sports from various organisations and heads of sports federations as well as sportsmen and women.

NAN also reports that the Olympic Day was initiated in 1987 by the International Olympic Committee to commemorate the founding of the Olympic Movement.

It was part of the international Olympic Movement’s activity to promote mass participation in sports and was organised by the Nigeria Olympic Committee.