The President, Organization of Military Sports in Africa, OSMA, has listed the games to be featured at the forth coming First Sahel Military Games.
OSMA President, Brigadier General Abdullahi Maikano made the disclosure on Wednesday during a media conference at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.
TheFact Nigeria reports that OSMA is a continental organisation made up of the Armed Forces of African member countries as well as African representation of the International Military Sports Council. The main objectives of OSMA, is to promote friendly sporting and physical training activities among the Armed Forces of members states, so as to foster the culture of peace needed for the economic integration of the African continent.
Speaking at the conference, Abdullahi disclosed that football, golf and marathon race will be featured at the games tagged “Sahel Countries Military Games for Peace and Solidarity”, adding that about 327 athletes from 14 countries are expected to participate in the maiden edition of Chief of Defence Staff/OSMA tournament in Abuja.
According to Abdullahi, the 14 countries taking part in the games are Mali; Burkina Faso; Nigeria; Niger; Libya; Chad; Cameroon; Tanzania; Benin Republic; Kenya; Congo Brazzaville; Congo Kinshasa; Guinea Bissau and Guinea Conakry.
The OSMA president noted that the game was aimed at fostering peace and solidarity among the eight Sahel countries that were mostly affected by activities of extremists and insurgents.
Speaking about the games, Abdullahi intimated that the game of golf was chosen in view “of the high calibre of officers that are going to be involved”, and the marathon race, “because of the mass men that are going to be involved”.
Abdullahi further said that the opening ceremony was scheduled for Monday, 11 October, while the football and gollf competitions hold from Tuesday 12 to Friday 15 October. The marathon race is billed for Saturday, 16 October, being the day on which the closing ceremony will be conducted.
According to Abdullahi, the marathon race starts and ends at the Aguyi Ironsi Cantonment, covering a distance of 42.95 kilometers. Fourteen counties are expected to participate in this marathon championship, including Nigeria.
Abdullahi added that only Kenya would be participating in invitational relay race with invited participants from the sister security agencies.
On the modalities for winning medals, the OSMA president explained that there were gold, silver and bronze medals for the winners of the first, second and third positions respectively, in all the three games, noting that there was not going to be a team champion in the marathon, but an individual champion, and that there were consolatory prizes for winners up to the sixth position.
“There will be peace trophy that is going to be given to all participants from all the 14 countries,” he said, while giving assurances that adequate preparations had been made to ensure a successful and hitch free tournament.
He said that the competition would be held annually going forward across member countries.
Abdullahi explained that the Sahel sporting activities would place emphasis on peace and solidarity among African Militaries as well as the whole continent for the development of the continent.